Which version of Macbeth do you prefer?

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

The toll of evil

Hi Year 11!
I was wondering what you thought about this question: Macbeth is a seasoned killer. Why then does the murder of King Duncan take such a toll on him? What do you think?

40 comments:

Anonymous said...

The reason why the death of King Duncan has taken such a toll on Macbeth is that he killed him and he killed him in a very scary way. When Macbeth went into the King's room and started to stab him King Duncan was looking at him and calling his name out while he was stabbing him. But not just that Macbeth was very close to King Duncan he found the King like a father to him. They fought side by side and they were close friends aswell. After the murder Macbeth regreted every single moment it came to haunt him and he started to get worried because he thought that someone would find out and they will steel the crown from him.

That's what i think on how it effected Macbeth.

Karim Chouikhen 11B

Caner Secgin said...

Macbeth is a seasoned killer. Why then does the murder of King Duncan take such a toll on him? What do you think?

The toll of Duncan being murdered hits Macbeth deeply on many different levels. Macbeth was known as a noble,well spoken,respected man but throught out Shakesperes play we see him lose the titles that he was once called. Macbeth is realated to Duncan,this would be hard becuase Duncan was classified as family. Macbeth got forced into murdering King Duncan from his wife, and at first didn't want to but later followed through with the plan thinking it's one guy to kill and im king. But later on figures out he has to silence more people to remain King,this takes toll on him because the people he needs to murder are those of which Macbeth has known for along pireod of time. What takes most toll on Macbeth was the fact that God put a person under the thrown for a reason,Theres also the fact that murdering a King is like disobaying God himself.

this is what i thought.
by Caner Secgin

Joshua Civitareale, Year 11 said...

The death of King Duncan takes a toll on Macbeth so much because of several reasons really. The first being the blood relationship that they share, King Duncan was the uncle of Macbeth. The loss of this kinship drives deep into the heart of Macbeth and toys with his emotions as we can see just before the murder as Macbeth starts to "chicken out" of this act he was about to preform. Secondly, Macbeth views himself, after the murder of King Duncan, as a bad man, a defiance of god, seeing that in those days it was believed that the King was second to god, hand picked by god himself to rule a certain kingdom. Macbeth soon realises that after the murder of the king that it isn't the end of murderous acts he has to preform, there are many more murders to come, and this drives him somewhat insane as Macbeth becomes paranoid that everyone would soon realise the truth and that the townsfolk and other noblemen are conspiring against him. Macbeth starts to lose everything due to this murder, the lost of respect, love and also the loss of followers. Before the murder of the king, Macbeth was a well respected man, he was loved by all, known by all and a hero in a sense to the kingdom. Macbeth was also in a great relationship with his wife, and after the murder of the king his relationship with his wife falls apart as he distances himself from her, hiding away, spying on the very people he ruled, and diverging in his thoughts on what to do next and how to stay in power.
Thus, all these incidents prove that the death of King Duncan takes a great toll on Macbeth.

Giuseppe said...

The murder of King Duncan has a major affect on Macbeth. Macbeth knows that he has done a selfish and wrong thing. It takes a big toll on Macbeth because the King was known to be chosen by God and by killing Duncan it means he has betrayed God. Duncan was Macbeths cousin, hes own blood and he still went on to kill him. Another reason why the murder of Duncan is having a big affect on him is because he still remembers going into the room to kill Duncan and looking straight into his wide open eyes which untill now is still giving him nightmares. Macbeth is remembering the prophecies the witches told him, so he is fearful that Banquos prophecy of his son becoming King will come true

By Giuseppe

Anthony Younan said...

King Duncan's Death takes a great toll on Macbeth because the giult of emotion that Macbeth suffers. This is because Duncan was not only a King to Macbeth but also a friend and a relative. Macbeth feels bad because he has committed sin because of his greed to be King and to have power. Duncan’s death has such an effect on Macbeth that Macbeth has separated himself from his friends and even his wife, Lady Macbeth. Macbeth’s reputation of being such a loyal man who loves his King is tearing away and this causes Macbeth to kill anyone who he might think is suspicious. Macbeth’s guilt of killing King Duncan is haunting him and doing Macbeth a great ordeal on his emotions

Anthony Younan

Daniel said...

Duncan’s murder has affected Macbeth in an extremely big way. When Duncan was still alive, Macbeth was looked up to and respected by many but now after doing a bad deed, by killing the king he has a guilty conscience that Macbeth carries around with him everywhere he goes. He is always thinking about what he has done to the Duncan. The biggest affect that Duncan’s murder has on Macbeth is how Macbeth didn’t think the murder through. He thought he would be able to just kill Duncan and then became king and that would be that, but it wasn’t to be. Macbeths now has to kill Banquo than once he kills him he has to kill another person just like a chain reaction and this goes on.Macbeth becomes blood hungry and losses a lot of friends and support.

By Daniel Giogha

Lillian Leptos said...

Karim, I think you are right in blaming the horrible means by which the king was killed as being responsible for some of the horror that Macbeth feels. Macbeth is so horrified that he throws caution to the wind and wanders the castle carrying the bloody weapons he has used. When Lady Macbeth chides him and tells him to take the daggers back to the scene of the crime, he behaves almost like a frightened child. I think that you are right when you say that the gore and horror of the murder itself played a part in how much the murder affected Macbeth. Then again, you would think that someone who could "unseam" his battlefield opponents from the nave to chops, would be able to deal with this sort of situation.

Lillian Leptos said...

Yes Caner, he was a "worthy gentleman" and much more. After the first battle, the thanes and others were falling over themselves to sing his praises. Once the murder took place and Macbeth precipitously raced off to Scone to be invested as king, people began to distance themselves from the man who people began to see as being driven by a dangerous and naked ambition. Now they shy away from him, afraid to be seen associating with him. After Dunca.s death, Macbeth seems more at home in the company of murders than good men. Macbeth has lost friends, supporters and his peace of mind. He knows that he will go to hell and perhaps this is what most affects him. I'm not so sure that Macbeth can esape responsiblity by saying that his wife forced him into this murder. on what do you base this view?

JAck said...

Scarnon Miss. Nice site you got going. anyway.


When Duncan was murderd Macbeth was affected greatly. Macbeth was a respected person and was loved by lots of people, including Duncan. When he got around to killing him he felt bad. Not only because Duncan is his blood relative but also he was king, and in them times the king was choosen by god. Therefor your attacking god when your attacking the king. Macbeths relationships where also affected by the killing of Duncan. He starts to depart from his wife because they start to have different views. He has to kill his closest friends just incase they find out he was the one who killed Duncan. He even gets his friends sons killed just incase they where going to take the thrown off him. So now Macbeth has to kill everybody if they have suspicions of him being the murderer and he can't sleep at night because he looses most of his support from friends and his wife.

Jackk =]

Lillian Leptos said...

Hi Giuseppe
You say that the murder of King Duncan had a major affect on Macbeth because of Macbeth's religious beliefs. Like the other Christians of the time, Macbeth believed the King was chosen by God. He knew that by killing Duncan he betrayed God or at least, denied God's will. He knew that he was sealing his fate by taking arms against the king, but he wanted to be king SOOO much that he was prepared to snatch the crown and hope that he could somehow "jump the life to come". There were so many reasons for Macbeth not to take arms against Duncan. I agree that being Duncan's close relative would have added to the horror that Macbeth felt. He would have been expected to take arms against a person who behaved this way, and instead, he is the perpetrator of this terrible crime. Maybe there was some sense of self preservation in Macbeth's reaction in that he realised that people were beginning to suspect him. He did keep " a servant fee'd " in each nobleman's house so that he would know what they were thinking. Do you think that if the thanes had no way of tracking the crime back to him, that Macbeth would have felt more at ease with what he had done?

Nicole Jackson said...

King Duncan's murder takes such a toll on Macbeth because he hasnt just had to kill one person, he has ended up having to kill many to cover up the fact that he killed Duncan. Duncan was in those days said to be chosen by God to be king and by killing the rightful king Macbeth has gone against God. This murder was also a awful betrayal as Duncan was both his friend and his relative. Macbeth now has a bad reputation as people are suspicious and shoked at him jumping up to take the crown so egarly without even waiting til after Duncan's funeral. King Duncan's murder has also effected his marriage and he is separated from his friends because he is paranoid that they are plotting against him. He has done a terrible deed and now has to live with what he has done and the consequences that come with it.

Lillian Leptos said...

Hi Josh. It was interesting that you said that the murder takes such a toll on Macbeth because he realises that the murder of the king isn't going to be the end of the murderous acts he has to perform. He is tempted to take up the daggers with the vain hope that this act could be the "be-all and end-all". Then almost as soon as the crown is on his head, he says to Lady Macbeth that the "snake" has been dealt a blow, but it is not yet killed. There are many more murders to come and he does not know how to bring this whole thing to an end. You say that this whole situation "drives him somewhat insane" and I agree that the worry this generates makes him act in a very bloody and reckless manner. It's almost like he knows that more murders will not solve his problems, but murder is the only thing that he knows. Later on, he talks in the "yellow leaf" speech about all that he has lost. I was wondering if after that speech you had any more sympathy for him?

Lillian Leptos said...

Hi Anthony
You said Duncan’s death had such a powerful effect on Macbeth that it separated himself from his friends and even his wife. When we watched the Polanski Macbeth we saw him skulking away in the shadows. He invited the noblemen to his castle but seemed to have nothing to say to them Not only does he seem to avoid the company of his peers, but he seems also to be really drawn to the darkness. He wants the sky to be scarfed so that no light can shine and reveal the horror of what he has done. This is a time when Macbeth needs Lady Macbeth more than ever. why then do you think that this is when they begin to drift apart?

Lillian Leptos said...

Hi Jack
you say that Macbeth believed the king was choosen by God. You also say that he believed that by attacking the king, he would have believed that he was attacking his god. All this makes me think that you think that Macbeth was a very moral man. You seem to be saying that he has a clear understanding of what is right and what is wrong. Can a mass murderer like Macbeth be considered a moral man?

Angelo said...

Kind Duncan's death has had a big influence on Macbeth. The reason why is because Macbeth didn't realise that he would've had so many problems after King Duncan's death. Macbeth stated to go on a killing spree after he killed the king. he also started to lose all his close friends. His wife started to drift away from him because he couldn't tell her his plans. Macbeth also started to have nightmares of Banquo's son taking over his crown and killing Macbeth he started to think and feel comfortable being evil.

By Angelo Michailidis

Lillian Leptos said...

Hi Nicole
you paint a pretty grim picture of Macbeth's life post murder of Duncan. Macbeth was an intelligent man. He was no innocent person who did not really know what would follow such a terrible murder. i still rememberv how he tried to back away from action and wonder if fate might not crown him without his "stir". If he is intelligent and aware, and if he has the recent example of the traitor Macdonald to think about, what is the key catalyst that makes him commit the murder anyway?

Lillian Leptos said...

Hi Angelo
it's interesting that the battle in which Macbeth was recognised a bit of a star, was the battle against another man who has betrayed Scotland, and King Duncan. Macbeth was there when the traitor came before Duncan to be punished by being put to death. How could Macbeth believe that the murder of Duncan be a simple, straightforward affair? Do you really think that he was ever "comfortable" with being evil? If he is comfortable, then how do you explain the nightmares and sleeplessness?

Nicole Jackson said...

Yes, Macbeth did hesitate to commit the murder and it was his wife that urged him on to do it but he still had the option of not murdering Duncan which he knew was probably the right thing to do. Even if Lady Macbeth did argue with him and call him cowardly or whatever wouldn't it have been more honourable to stand up to her and say 'no it isn't right and i'm not going to do it'?? If he had, he wouldn't be in this murderous mess.

Lillian Leptos said...

Hi Nicole. Interesting point about Macbeth's lack of spine and resolve. I keep thinking of the pressure that Lady macbeth has put her husband under. she seems to brook no interference with her plan. She says "Glamis thou art and Cawdor, and shalt b3e what thou art promised". Lady Macbeth makes it sound like this is the future that has been marked out for Macbeth. she makes him feel that if he chooses not to proceed along this path that has been laid out for him that he is week. This is what she seems to be hinting at when she talks about him being "too full of the milk of human kindness". She makes him feel as if he is all talk and no action. this is huge pressure that she is putting on Macbeth. Her next speech...The raven himself is hoarse that croaks the fatal entrance of Duncan...etc..."is such a dark, sinister speech that it makes me feel that it is she, not Macbeth that is in the driving seat. She is prepared to smash the skull of an infant, rather than back away from the ambitious plan they have hatched. How is it possible for Macbeth to resist 2 pages of goading, humiliation and pressure. This is a dream they have both had for such a long time, and it is almost impossible for Macbeth to just say..this is not a good thing to do...I just won't do it. Do you think that Macbeth could have become king without the influence of Lady Macbeth?

Caner Secgin said...

i base my view on...

Macbeth once hearing what the whitches preached got caught up in the idea of becoming king...But we see that macbeth dosent want to commit the murder and that maybe some day him being king will come around without getting his hands dirty and there for backs down...But soon after when time came to go ahead and commit the murder that lady macbeth and himself put together he wouldn't do it,so lady macbeth lost it,she started on about how you can't back down from a promice and how much of a weak,pathetic and hopeless kind of man he is in a very obsered way ...This convinced Macbeth to commit the mureder...and thus bring me to that conclusion....



a question for you Mz Leptos...
would the bear in the movie repreasent Macbeths story as well...liek you said you see it 4 times throught the movie...and every time you see it its sumwere else...the first time was in the cage,as a beast in a cage but later to be chanied up and gettign tourmented to get angry where macbeth was not givin the title he thought he would get at the ceremony after the battle made him angry..and then we see the bear fighting wit dogs,liek with macbeth the people start hatign macbeth and all the murders being to happen...and then finnallly the last time the bears gettign dragged along da groudn becuase its been killed, like macbeth at the end of the movie....

it was just something i thought../
stupid thing but like i thought i'd ask anyway...

Caner Secgin

Ali said...

I think the murder of king Duncan had such a big toll on Macbeth because of many reasons. One because it was his own cousin and own blood. Two because he knows that he has done a bad thing and has gone against his leader. Three because he keeps having nightmares about him killing the King. Four because when he killed the King he was staring straight at him and he always has that picture in his head.

Ali

Giuseppe said...

I think that Macbeth would have been more at ease with his actions if the thanes had no way of tracking the killing back to him. He would have felt more safe knowing that he would not be caught with his Murder of King Duncan. Also it would of meant that he would not have had to kill all the other people. But still he would have killed Banquo and because he was such a close friend that would have taken a big toll on him.

Giuseppe

nicole said...

I think if Macbeth was ment to be king then he would have become king in time, when he was ment to be. If he did not become king then maybe he just wasn't the right person for it, and with how he has let the power go to his head and become obsessed with it he probably wasnt the right person to be king. But then again it could just be that he isn't the 'rightful' king so he is more paranoid of losing it....

As for both Macbeth and Lady Macbeth wanting it for so long and Lady Macbeth saying that she would bash in her own child's head I think she is just heartless and an even worse person than what Macbeth is becoming. I mean yes, she does feel guilty and all that but to want something so much to be willing to kill for it....? I just don't think its right if he was ment to be king or queen or whatever then it would have happened without his "stir".

Nic

Lillian Leptos said...

Caner, you could be right. The bear could be like Macbeth. of course any time we see a recurring image in a film, we have to consider what possible meaning it might be carrying. You say the bear is chained up and being tourmented. This reminds me of the scene when Macbeth tells his wife that his mind is tormrnted by "scorpions". After the battle he was tormented by his frustrated ambitions. He very much believed that he had earned the right to be the next king of Scotland, but tradition frustrated him and Duncan overlooked him, giving the next most powerful position to his son. This IS a kind of torture that Macbeth must endure. We see the bear fighting witH dogs,and Macbeth is a hugely powerful man, who is torn at by much less powerful forces (the other thanes). The Scottish nobles eye him off, discuss him and laugh at him behind his back. All this the chained bear must endure (and like the chained bear, he swings at them with his murderously sharp claws, whenever he can). I can even see a "chain" of office hanging around Macbeth's neck, just like the chain that restrains the bear.
In act 5 scene 6 he defiantly cries out that he will not "yield to kiss the ground before young Malcolm's feet and to be baited with a rebel curse". The bear was "baited" or tormented by the people who came to watch it fight for its life. YES, I think that Polanski is saying that Macbeth is like the bear in some ways. What a clever thought you had. I wondered if you believed that the witches were real, or just the dark thoughts and temptations in macbeth's mind.

Lillian Leptos said...

Hi Nic
You said that if Macbeth was meant to be king then he would have become king in time, when he was ment to be. There is the small problem that the existing king had the right to choose his successor and thatmerit was often overlooked in order for the power to remain within the ruling dynasty. What was your judgement? Should Duncan have chosen Malcolm or Macbeth. I must say, that when I saw Malcolm's reaction to the kikking of his father (hightailing it out of Scotland to save his skin, and abandoning the country to whatever fate might befall it), I wondered if Scotland did not need to be saved from a weak leader like him.
I think you are right when you say that macbeth wanted the throne and and was prepared to plunge Scotland into turmoil to satify his lust for power. He does not sound as if he has the best interests of his country in mind. That said, what do you think of Macbeth's death. He dies with his sword in hand, battling against impossible odds. Do you think he deserves at least some admiration at the end? I'll be interested in your final view of this tragic character.
Do you think that Macbeth wanted to be queen or was it that she wanted her beloved Macbeth to be the king he had always yearned to be?

Lillian Leptos said...

Hi Ali
you are right, the relationship with Duncan, the horror of the actual bloody murder, the recurring thoughts of that night through the nightmares that attack Macbeth's mind while he is awake and asleep...all this ensures that Duncan's murder has a massive effect on Macbeth. But Ali, did you find it odd that a man that was described as being almost like a killing machine on the battlefield, could be so sensitive anbout the killing of yet another old man? Shouldn't he have been so used to the sight of blood, that it just didn't matter?

Lillian Leptos said...

Hi Giuseppe
You said that you thought Macbeth would have been more at ease with his actions if the thanes had no way of tracking the killing back to him. I agree that he would have felt safer knowing that he would not be found out. with people not suspicious of him he might not have had to kill all the other people. But Macbeth's own mind seems to be working against him. Even before any nobleman has made a comment about his possible involvement in Duncan's murder, we see him dissolving in guilt. In act 2 sc 2 he is almost crying as he meets Lady Macbeth and babbles on about what a "sorry sight" he has just seen (in Duncan's chamber). He looks at his hans and thinks of himself as a butcher ("hangman's hands") . He knows from that moment onward, that he will never sleep again (" Macbeth hath murdered sleep"). This is all before anyone says anything about his guilt. Do you think Macbeth is a weak or a strong man?

Younan said...

Macbeth and Lady Macbeth both know the other one has committed felony so they should really be close and talk to one another about it. But the problem is that they aren’t talking about their problems and their feeling of guilt. Knowing that your loved one knows about your crime that you have committed suggests the feeling of untrustworthy in the relationship. This also creates a feeling of fear in the relationship because one might turn against the other. Lady Macbeth and Macbeth’s relationship is like a seesaw and so when one is feeling good, the other would be feeling bad and it would be hard for them to communicate. They’re also dealing with their own problems of guilt and so one would want to be alone to think about their troubles.

Anthony

Lillian Leptos said...

Hi Younan (my god you type quickly)
You say that Macbeth and Lady Macbeth both know the other one has committed a heinous, an immoral crime, and i think that you are saying that their inability to discuss what they have done leads to a distance developing between. You see this distance as undermining both their relationship and their mental health. i agree that much of their strength at the beginning of the play seems to come from the strength of their relationship. They seem to know what the othr one thinks and needs, and barely need to talk. I've always thought that Macbeth talks less and less to Lady Macbeth to spare her any more fear. He says to her "be innocent of the knowledge dearest chuck" . I've never really considered that he might distrust her. I guess that if his closest friends can turn against him, it might be possible that his wife could also betray him. What is your evidence for this?

S.G said...

The reason why the death of King Duncan has taken such a toll on Macbeth is that he killed him out of greed and for personal gain. The guilt also emerged because Lady Macbeth had pressured him into commiting an act of regicide. I do not believe that killing King Duncan was an act he truely believe was right. Then he looses support from his wife which affected his conscience. When he lost the support of his wife that is when he truely beleived his actions were unjustified.

Josh C said...

Hi Miss, To respond to your question, Yes I did feel sorry for him, After a few murders, Macbeth started to realise, as you were talking about, that his gone in too deep and too far now to turn back, and if he would turn back it would be the same if he kept on going. He realises at a point that he cannot win out of this, acknoledging what he has done to everyone. Macbeth, a cold hearted evil man, nothing was different, but the sence of his acknowledgement of what he had done, toys with the views I originally had on him.

Lillian Leptos said...

Hi SG
you say the reason why the death of King Duncan has taken such a toll on Macbeth is that he killed out of greed and with the clear knowledge that this was an illegal and immoral act. i can see your point. But I don't know that he loses the support of his wife. She is certainly incapable of supporting him as she sinks into oblivion, but does she ever turn her back on him? Let me know which part of the play let you form this impression. (welcome to the blog by the way).

Lillian Leptos said...

Hi Josh
You say that you did feel sorry for Macbeth. You feel sorry for him because he was a good man who acted very badly, then came to the realization that he has lost everything of value. he realizes that he can never be "safely thus" (act 3 sc1). He realises that he has "filed" his mind, (destroyed his peace of mind ) and that all the life he has is tainted by this mad act of greed that led him to do so much evil. He truly was a great man with a tragic flaw that undermined all his great achievements. instead of accolades, he has laughter at his expense. Angus laughs at him as a kind of dwarf on whom the robes of office "hang loose" (A5 Sc 2). i agree that I feel sorry for him too, even though I thoroughly condemn all that he has done.. Do you have any sympathy for Lady Macbeth?

Josh C said...

Hi Miss, to respond to your question about Lady Macbeth, I do have a little sympathy for her. I mean yes she deals with the psycological horror of what they have done by killing the King and also the other murders but she did force Macbeth to go through with the first murder. A part of me says she deserves what she gets but I do have a little sympathy for her because of the pain she suffers. But only a little :)

Lillian Leptos said...

Hi Josh
i can see your divided views about Lady Macbeth. Does your (muted) sympathy for her stem from the fact that she suffers or because you see her as a moral character. If she was amoral, she would murder without guilt.

Josh said...

Hi Miss, my sympathy drives from the fact that she is a suffering woman.

Lillian Leptos said...

hi Josh
Can you think of a question I can post for the class to discuss? what is the question that has been running through your mind as we have been watching and discussing this story of greed, betrayal and murder?

Anonymous said...

FOR F#*KS SAKE!

(It's Jacob)

Sorry for the profranity, but this is going on the third time I have had to write this up, and I am really running out of time to continually do this over and over. (I am not the fastest of typers, not even the second fastest, or third, or fourth, or fifth, etc. )

Alright, now Macbeth had so many things going wrong in his head of the murder of Duncan. 1 was his conscience,that was having a fit over the fact that Duncan was a friend and family of Macbeth. His conscience was further angered by Macbeth's need to kill more people in order to cover up the cover up the initial murder of Duncan. Macbeth also lost his ability to confide in Lady Macbeth as Duncan's Murder drove a wedge into their little "seasaw of power".
Macbeth was also distanced from his fellow thanes by the murder, because Macbeth realized that if he could do this to a loved and respected King, then what is to stop someone killing him? By murdering Duncan, the King, Macbeth brought God down upon himself. An upheld belief back in the times this story was set was that God set the King on the throne, and to remove the King from the throne is to interupt God's divine plan. By mudering Duncan, Macbeth "slapped God in the face" and killed off whatever was there of his spiritual side.
By murdering Duncan, Macbeth drove himself away from his friends and his support from Lady Macbeth, he caused his conscience to rip him a new bellybutton the sise of Texas. Oh, and he had the Wrath of God upon him, you can't forget that.

this had better work.

Lillian Leptos said...

Hello killer. Great to see you on the blog.
You say that Macbeth had a multitude of very good reaons for allowing the murder of his king to have a huge impact on him. It's odd that you describe him as a man racked by his conscience. i see him cold-bloodedly sit amongst his thanes, break bread with them, drink with them, then leave the room to finalise the next murder. How is it possible to see him as a man with a conscience (Quick hint: type your comment up in a word document and then paste it into the blog. This will mean that you have a saved copy yo go back to if the post goes awry).

Lillian Leptos said...
This comment has been removed by the author.