What arguments does Macbeth make in his soliloquy in act 1, scene 7 against the murder of Duncan in Macbeth?

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In act 1, scene 6 of Shakespeare's Macbeth, King Duncan arrives at Macbeth's castle. In act 1, scene 4, when Duncan tells Macbeth that he's going to visit him at his castle, Duncan gives Macbeth no specific reason for doing so.

DUNCAN. From hence to Inverness,
And bind us further to you. (1.4.48-49)

Shakespeare's reason for doing so is perfectly clear. Duncan is now under Macbeth's roof, and this provides an opportunity for Macbeth to murder him and claim the throne of Scotland, as Macbeth and Lady Macbeth decided to do in act 1, scene 5.

In act 1, scene 7, Macbeth begins his soliloquy with every intention of killing Duncan, which he thinks he should do as soon as possible.

MACBETH. If it were done when ’tis done, then ’twere well
It were done quickly. (1.7.1-2)

Those words are barely out of Macbeth's mouth before he starts to reconsider his decision to kill Duncan. Macbeth begins to doubt that killing Duncan would necessarily give him everything he wants and considers that it might even cause...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 1287 words.)

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Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on January 29, 2020
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