In Macbeth, why does Macbeth hesitate to kill Duncan?
Macbeth considers all the virtues Duncan has and the favors that the king has bestowed upon him, as well as the fact that he is related to the king and that Duncan is a guest in his castle. He also thinks about the repercussions his ghastly deed would have if he should follow through, such as the general outcry that will arise from such a malevolent act. He will be committing regicide and will be responsible for the death of a much-loved cousin and liege. There will be an outcry for justice and revenge.
Furthermore, a host is also responsible for taking care of the safety of his guests, not bringing them to harm! All these considerations are questions of morality and are disturbing to him. As such, they dwell on his mind and torment him. In his soliloquy in Act l, Scene 5, he provides all the reasons for not committing the act:
But in these cases
We still have judgment here; that we but teach
Bloody instructions, which, being taught, return
To plague the inventor: this even-handed justice
Commends the ingredients of our poison'd chalice
To our own lips. He's here in double trust;
First, as I am his kinsman and his subject,
Strong both against the deed; then, as his host,
Who should against his murderer shut the door,
Not bear the knife myself. Besides, this Duncan
Hath borne his faculties so meek, hath been
So clear in his great office, that his virtues
Will plead like angels, trumpet-tongued, against
The deep damnation of his taking-off;
And pity, like a naked new-born babe,
Striding the blast, or heaven's cherubim, horsed
Upon the sightless couriers of the air,
Shall blow the horrid deed in every eye,
That tears shall drown the wind. I have no...
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