Who is to blame for the killing of King Duncan? Is it the witches, Lady Macbeth, or Macbeth himself?

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Macbeth is ultimately responsible for killing Duncan, but Lady Macbeth and the Weird Sisters bear some moral responsibility for encouraging and assisting him in the commission of his crime.

Lady Macbeth claims that she herself would've carried out this wicked act herself if Duncan hadn't resembled her own father...

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Macbeth is ultimately responsible for killing Duncan, but Lady Macbeth and the Weird Sisters bear some moral responsibility for encouraging and assisting him in the commission of his crime.

Lady Macbeth claims that she herself would've carried out this wicked act herself if Duncan hadn't resembled her own father as he slept. But we must take this with a large pinch of salt. It's almost certain that Lady Macbeth wouldn't have plunged in the dagger herself, whatever the circumstances. Though she may have actively planned the whole thing, it was always understood that it was Macbeth who'd have to wield the knife. Nevertheless, Lady Macbeth is fully complicit in this heinous act of villainy, and she must share some of the blame for what's happened.

As indeed must the Weird Sisters. It was they who planted the demon seed of ambition in Macbeth's mind. They were the ones who encouraged Macbeth to take the fateful step of making himself king of Scotland, irrespective of the methods used to achieve this goal. That said, Macbeth didn't have to listen to the witches; he could've ignored their tantalizing prophecies and settled down to a relatively quiet life as Thane of Cawdor.

But he didn't. He made the fateful decision to kill Duncan. He was the one who chose, of his own volition, to plunge the knife deep into the man he'd previously served with such honor and distinction. Lady Macbeth and the Weird Sisters may have been accomplices to murder, but Macbeth is the real villain of the piece here.

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Macbeth is to blame for the death of King Duncan, however he is influenced by the witches and his wife, Lady Macbeth.  In order to understand Macbeth's guilt and his role in the murder, you must consider that he acted out of his own free will. 

"The witches in Macbethare present in only four scenes in the play, but Macbeth's fascination with them motivates much of the play's action. When they meet with Banquo and Macbeth, they address Macbeth with three titles: thane of Glamis, thane of Cawdor, and king hereafter."

At no time was he forced magically to kill the King.  The witches do not have the power to force Macbeth to murder the King, their role in the murder was limited to the prophecy, the information that they gave Macbeth, motivated him.

In giving Macbeth a glimpse into the future, or so the witches said, all the deeply held ambitions that Macbeth has held in check rose to the surface, along with the stirring of the dark passions that lie within all men.  The witches gave Macbeth an incentive to kill the King, but he killed him by his own hand. 

Lady Macbeth also has a part in the murder of the King, but she is not more responsible than Macbeth.  Lady Macbeth, once she found out what the witches prophecy said, and that part of it had already come true with the king awarding Macbeth the title Thane of Cawdor, makes a passionate speech, pleading with her husband to take the opportunity that will be presenting itself that evening when the King is a guest in their home.

She tells him that this is fate, destiny, providing him with a great chance to kill the king as he sleeps under their roof.  It is a singularly unique opportunity, not likely to happen again.  She tells her husband that if he doesn't kill the king then he is less of a man, a coward, a wimp.  If he doesn't kill the king then he doesn't really love her, please she begs, do this for me, I want to be Queen. 

After Macbeth listens to her go on and on, he is still not sure what he wants to do, he has a debate with his own conscience, but it is his own unchecked ambition, he deep desire to possess power, his longing to be king, that spurs him to kill Duncan. 

Once he thinks it over, he decides that he wants to kill the king, a man who has rewarded him, who has honored him by visiting his home to celebrate their victory, to celebrate Macbeth's elevation to Thane of Cawdor.

Out of jealousy, out of a desire to push Malcolm and Donalbain out of the way, Macbeth seizes the moment, kills the king, frames the guards and ends up being crowned because the king's two sons flee Scotland in fear for their own lives.

"After murdering Duncan, then framing and murdering Duncan's attendants, Macbeth, disturbed by the witches' prophesy about Banquo's descendants, orders the murder of Banquo and Banquo's son, Fleance."

In my opinion, the fact that Macbeth keeps on murdering, after he kills Duncan is proof that he was solely responsible for the murder.  If he had killed the king, and then ruled Scotland as a noble and righteous king, one could suggest that he was influenced by the witches or his wife,  but he turns into a murdering tyrant, proof that he wanted to be king more than anything.  He killed his friend Banquo, he has Lady Macduff and her family killed, proof that he was drunk with the desire to attain power and to keep it.  

    

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This question, actually is one that is very much debated in regards to this play.  In order to answer it satisfactorily, you must define "to blame."  Do you mean who actually wielded the knife?  No question, then, it's Macbeth himself.  Though we don't see the murder onstage, he and Lady Macbeth have a scene -- Act II, scene ii -- in which Macbeth has just come from the murder.

However, "blame" is often distributed, in a murder, to those who function as accessories to the crime.  In this case, is Lady Macbeth also "to blame?"  How about The Witches?  Let's look at both of these possibilities individually.

First, Lady Macbeth, in the scenes before the murder, seems to drive the action forward.  In Act I, scene v, she all but declares the murder a done deal.  She says that "never/[s]hall sun that morrow see," referring to Duncan's staying the night at their home, but not living to see the next day.  She ends this discussion with a reluctant Macbeth by saying, "Leave all the rest to me," implying that she will see that the murder is committed.  And the actual plan, divulged in Act I, scene vii, is given to Macbeth by Lady Macbeth.  She says:

. . .When Duncan is asleep

. . .his two chamberlains

Will I with wine and wassail so convince

That memory. . .

Shall be a fume. . .when in swinish sleep

Their drenched natures lie as in a death,

What cannot you and I perform upon

The unguarded Duncan?

This plan implicates Lady Macbeth as being the mastermind behind Duncan's death, and, as such, partly to blame for the murder.

The Witches are also considered by some to share in the blame, since their prediction of Macbeth's becoming King is what leads him first to consider the idea.  Have they poisoned his brain in some way, created some evil spell that has caused him to act against his better nature in killing Duncan?  Well, this can only be a supposition, there is not evidence in the text to prove it.  But it is certainly worth considering that the Witches, through their supernatural intervention, also share some of the blame for Duncan's death.

So, Macbeth is the actual murderer in the play, but Lady Macbeth and the Witches could both be considered to share in the blame for the death of Duncan.

The links below will give more detail for considering this question further.

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