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In Macbeth, which character is most responsible for Macbeth's death?I need to write an...

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jenrockely22 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted January 13, 2012 at 4:38 AM via web

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In Macbeth, which character is most responsible for Macbeth's death?

I need to write an 6 paragraph essay on  "which character is most responsible for Macbeth's demise." I can only use one character throughout the essay. Any ideas on which character or details to write about? Thanks!

 

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literaturenerd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted January 13, 2012 at 8:32 AM (Answer #1)

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The question regarding which character was most responsible for Macbeth's death, in Shakespeare's tragic play Macbeth, has been a question critics and teachers alike have been pondering and analyzing for decades.

One could make the claim that many different characters in the play could be responsible for Macbeth's death.

The Witches:

The witches could be held responsible for Macbeth's death. If it were not for the prophecies, Macbeth most likely would have not strayed from his path of choosing good over evil.

Lady Macbeth:

Lady Macbeth could also be held responsible for her husband's death. If she would not have pushed him to be more of a man and murder Duncan (in order to take the crown), Macbeth (again) most likely would have not strayed from his honorable path.

Macbeth:

Macbeth could be found to be responsible for his own death based upon the fact that he chose to go ahead with Lady Macbeth's plans and take the crown. It was Macbeth's own growing ambition which forced his hand in the murder of Duncan. This murder was the one thing which initiated all of the plans Macbeth made to keep the crown (Banquo's murder, Fleance's attempted murder, and the murder of Macduff's family).

Macduff:

At the end of the play, Macduff was the one responsible for actually taking Macbeth's life. He was the one who Macbeth fought and lost to.

Therefore, one could easily make the claim that any of the aforementioned were responsible for Macbeth's death.

Sources:

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wanyona87 | High School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted January 31, 2012 at 6:08 PM (Answer #2)

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Lady Macbeth is the most responsible for Macbeth's death because she taunts, harasses and threatens him not to give up. This therefore drives Macbeth to do things he does not want just to please his wife.

Macduff's discovery about the king's death also drives Macbeth to his death. Because he feels thretened.

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William Delaney | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted January 13, 2012 at 8:19 AM (Answer #3)

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Macduff is the character directly responsible for Mcabeth's death. He actually kills Macbeth in a duel.

Macduff first appears when he is knocking at the gate. Shakespeare needed to introduce Macduff because he is going to be so important in the subsequent drama.

Macduff discovers the murdered King Duncan's body.

Macduff suspects Macbeth, refuses to honor him as king, and flees to England.

Macbeth has Macduff's whole family murdered because Macduff deserted him and joined Malcolm who was raising an army against him.

Macduff swears revenge.

He encounters Macbeth on the battlefield in the last act and kills him in a duel.

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