Consequences of Macbeth’s murder of Duncan

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Yes, I agree with the statement “Macbeth’s murder of Duncan has had horrible consequences for both Macbeth himself and Scotland.” Even before Duncan’s murder Macbeth understood there would be grave consequences for his actions. He knew that murdering Duncan would start an unstoppable cycle of bloodshed. “It will have blood they say: blood will have blood”

The murder has affected Macbeth’s life in many ways. He’s lost his peace of mind, his moral core has been destroys, his relationships collapse and his kingdom loses all respect for him. The effects on Scotland have been the loss of control and a proper ruler, unnatural occurrences in nature, murder and a civil war. Murdering Duncan has ruined Macbeth’s peace of mind. Immediately after the murder, Macbeth is guilt-ridden and fearful. He claims that while he was in the process of killing Duncan that he heard a voice crying out that he would no longer sleep. “Methought I heard a voice cry; ‘Sleep no more, Macbeth does murder sleep.’” ‘Sleep’ is representing his peace and innocence. He’s lost his innocence by commiting the murder. He is now subjected to danmnation. He will find it extremely hard to be at peace now. He will be filled with paranoia and anxiety after the murder. At this stage Macbeth’s sanity is unravelling, and fast. He begins to have hallucinations and delusions of things linking to his murders. Macbeth, at the start of the play, came across as a noble and loyal man. His character begins to change however throughout the play due to various sinful events. Before Duncan’s murder he shows hesitation and after he is remorseful. His moral core has been shook by his actions. His remorse quickly disappears though. His anxiety and paranoia grow and he deals with any insecurities by acting on pure impulse when he fears for his safety. His humanity begins to deteriorate. He begins to murder with ease, almost as if he is developing a bloodlust. There is such a huge change in his character from before Duncan’s murder, where he comes across as being a generally good person and then near the end of the play where we see him as a ruthless murderer with no regard for human emotion. His reaction to his wife’s death is cold and heartless. He feels that with all that is going on in the Kingdom she could’ve picked a better time to commit suicide.

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This is not the same, loving husband we see in the beginning of the play. Duncan’s murder has major consequences on Macbeth’s relationships. He becomes paranoid that his closest friends may be plotting against him. Macbeth’s fears that Banquo may be suspicious of him, leads him to have him murdered. At a dinner in the palace his guests see a different side to their king. He appears slightly, or more than slightly loopy. Macbeth’s relationship with his wife deteriorates the most however. In the beginning we see Macbeth and Lady Macbeth as a loving and affectionate couple. They have a strong partnership and great trust in one another. The first thing Macbeth does when the witches first appear to him is write his wife a detailed letter telling her about their strange prophecies. Even when they are plotting Duncan’s murder, they are plotting it together with aspirations for their future together as King and Queen of Scotland. After the murders they become distant from each other. Macbeth becomes obsessed with power. He begins keeping secrets, plotting murders and doesn’t involve Lady Macbeth in any of this. When he hears that his wife is dead all he can say is that it was bad timing. “She should have died hereafter; There would have been a time for such a word.” At the banquet in the kingdom to celebrate Macbeth being crowned king, the guests get a terrible impression of their new ruler. He shows that he is not of mental wellness. Macbeth sees Banquo’s ghost sitting in his chair and begins speaking to him as if he’s actually there. The guests don’t get the strong, conserved impression they should have gotten from Macbeth at this Banquet. They lose a decent amount of respect for him. In these times Kings were considered to have been chosen by God. Macbeth is clearly not right for the position or responsibility.

Death has been a major part of the play ‘Macbeth’. Murder is the main consequence that murdering Duncan’s had on Scotland. As before, Macbeth understood that his actions would have consequences. He understood that murder begets murder. This is exactly what happens. One murder leads to another. Macbeth murders Duncan and becomes king. To keep his throne he feels he must get rid of Banquo because he feels he may be plotting against him. After the murder of Banquo Macbeth becomes even more blood thirst and because of slight suspicion of Macduff, he has his entire family and servents murder without any hesitation. This is the behaviour of a cold blooded murderer. Duncan’s demise has caused the disarray of the natural
world, changes in Macbeth’s attitude, and then eventually suicide of Lady Macbeth.

Straight after Duncan’s murder, nature already begins to change. The natural world turns against normality. “New hatch’d to the woeful time; the obscure bird.. some say the earth, was feverous and did shake” (2.3.63-65). This was the beginning of the upcoming chaos in the natural world. The days become dark and everyone can feel death in the air. All of these unnatural occurrences are due to the murder of Duncan. Murdering a King was considered completely against nature, and against God. The imbalance in nature is a sort of Karma effect. What goes around comes around. In this case, go against nature, nature will go against you.

As news of Duncan’s murder spreads, people become frightened and confused. Duncan was a loyal and well-respected King. His death caused a lot of devastation to the people of Scotland. The people don’t feel safe anymore, they don’t know if they can trust Macbeth and many have their suspicions of who murder Duncan. We see Malcolm and Donalbain flee straight after the murder. This lead to suspicions that maybe they murdered their father. However, at this time, Scotland are full of mixed emotions, they are mourning their King, scared for their owns lives, unsure of their King and haunted by the unnatural events. The murder of Duncan has affected Macbeth’s life and the life of Scotland’s people. Scotland began to deteriorate. Macbeth lost his sanity, his character changes, his relationships collapse and everyone loses their respect for him. He starts a cycle of ruthless murders which lead to his own demise. In conclusion I agree with the statement “Macbeth’s murder of Duncan has had horrible consequences for both Macbeth himself and Scotland.” Macbeth knew what was coming for him from the beginning. Blood begot blood.

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Consequences of Macbeth’s murder of Duncan. (2016, Dec 25). Retrieved from

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