Is Macbeth responsible for his actions??

•May 16, 2008 • 3 Comments

<Is Macbeth really responsible for his actions? or does he plead insanity, and is really just a victim?>


  • He knew it was morally wrong to murder his own kin to become a king. Some say it was because he was affected by the witch and his wife, but in the end, it was still his decision to become a murderer for the crown. “Stars, hide your fires! Let not light see my black and deep desires. ” He says himself, that his heart has turned dark. Therefore, Macbeth knew that what he did was wrong, and evil, but he went ahead and assassinated Duncan anyways.
  • The choice was always his to step down from the throne, and hand over the throne to Malcolm. If he has done so, he would have had even more respect from other thanes, and his men’s loyalty. However, Macbeth was not witty enough to realize that if he the king has been assassinated in his house, and he takes the crown after it, without even bothering to find the prince, he is sure to gain suspicion of his men. Therefore, Macduff and Banquo were suspicious and fed up with Macbeth, leading them to take their stand against Macbeth. Macbeth says, “I am in blood Stepp’d in so far, that, should I wade no more, Returning were as tedious as go o’er.”. Even though he thought he had stepped in too much, he still had time to draw himself out. However, he decided not to see the solution in that path, and drove himself into the darkness.
  • Macbeth has been over come by his ambition. Other than being happy with what he had earned,(Cawdor) his greed overwhelmed him and bested his judgements. “I have no spur-To prick the sides of my intent, but only-Vaulting ambition, which o’erleaps itself-And falls on the other.” Even if Macbeth was blinded by his ambitions, he could have with held his actions, keep the daggers in their sheeths, and not sheeth them in Duncan.


  • Macbeth has been played by the witches from very first; if it wasn’t for the witches prophecy, his ambitions wouldn’t have gotten so greatly overgrown, and end up causing Macbeth to make the worst judgement ever could. “All hail, Macbeth! hail to thee, thane of Glamis! All hail, Macbeth, hail to thee, thane of Cawdor! All hail, Macbeth, thou shalt be king hereafter!” If witches had kept their prophecies to themselves, Macbeth would not have been persuaded by himself, or his lady for the matter of Duncan
  • Macbeth has the right to claim insanity, as he wasn’t making his way towards Duncan’s chamber, he was merely drawn by the floating dagger. “Is this a dagger which I see before me, The handle toward my hand? Come, let me clutch thee; I have thee not, and yet I see thee still. Art thou not, fatal vision, sensible To feeling as to sight? or art thou but A dagger of the mind, a false creation, Proceeding from the heat-oppressed brain? I see thee yet, in form as palpable As this which now I draw.” Macbeth was merely a victim of hallucination, perhaps it was due to overload of stress and undercooked dinner. 
  • Macbeth’s wife, Lady Macbeth played a big roll in killing Duncan. As in the play, Macbeth felt the guilt, and his conscience wanted to stop  the cause, which he was almost would have. Lady Macbeth insults Macbeth for him to stepping down from what is morally wrong; given in by the pressure, and perhaps his blinding greed has came back, Macbeth was forced to go ahead as planned. “We will proceed no further in this business: He hath honour’d me of late; and I have bought Golden opinions from all sorts of people, Which would be worn now in their newest gloss, Not cast aside so soon.” As Macbeth says so himself, he did not want to kill Duncan for various, rational reasons. However, his wife had to push him over the edge, thus carving a path straight to failure for Macbeth and Lady Macbeth.

Macbeth was slain by Macduff.8 kings with mirrors