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MacBeth: Act 1, Scene 7

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In Shakespeare’s MacBeth, a Scottish thane ascends his way to becoming king by killing off anyone in his way. MacBeth’s first victim, and most difficult to kill, was King Duncan. The reason killing King Duncan was harder for MacBeth than killing other victims, was that MacBeth had never committed such a crime, and he was unsure whether or not he wanted to go through with his plan. He had promised his ambitious wife, Lady MacBeth, that he would kill Duncan, though he later reassesses the idea. If it were not for Lady MacBeth’s persuasion, Duncan most likely would not have been murdered.

In Act 1, Scene 7 of this play, MacBeth begins a monologue. In this soliloquy, the character shows, as Shakespeare’s characters are known to, a human truth: he is conflicted with morals of killing his king; the mind’s battle between personal want and acting ethically. He states an ethical appeal to himself, saying, “First, as I am his kinsman and his subject, Strong both against the deed,” meaning that he should act as a dutiful subject and not slaughter his good king. MacBeth is aware that his only motivation to kill the king is his ambition, and that ambition drives people to disaster. At the end of MacBeth’s monologue, he had chosen not to kill King Duncan, and shares his decision with his wife Lady Macbeth once she enters.

Lady MacBeth, an power-hungry woman, persuades her husband to return to the plan of murdering their king. The first ploy she used to persuade MacBeth was an emotional appeal, making him feel bad about himself by calling him a coward. She asks him,”Wouldst thou have that, Which thou esteem’st the ornament of life, And live a coward in thine own esteem,” dubbing him a coward for retreating from the plan they originally agre...

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... obvious human truth is the manipulative power of women have over men by making them feel unmasculine.

If MacBeth had never been persuaded to kill Duncan, MacBeth probably would not have committed any other murder crimes throughout the rest of the play. One could blame Lady MacBeth for persuading her husband to become a killer --- blame women’s ability to manipulate men into having bad character. Though, one could also blame MacBeth, seeing as he was responsible for his own decisions. MacBeth had the option of how strongly he stood up to his wife for his moral beliefs, and he chose to barely defend his opinion. It’s clear that neither MacBeth nor his wife were solely responsible for his final decision to murder King Duncan. Without his wife’s persuasion, MacBeth would not have killed the king, but MacBeth could have chosen to not be so easily persuaded by his wife.
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