Murder of King Duncan
Macbeth has murdered King Duncan however the conspiracy is that there were many influences behind this crime, some examples are Macbeth’s greed, Lady Macbeth, and the withches’ prophecy.
The question “Why Did Macbeth Murder Duncan at the End of Act 1?” is quite simple to answer because it has a limited answer: greed and Lady Macbeth. After hearing predictions from the witches about how Macbeth will become the king later on, he builds greed unconsciously and wants to become king which will have to result in the death of the current King (1.3 49) All hail, Macbeth! Hail to thee, thane of Cawdor.” this is one of the prophecies made by the witches that sparked Macbeth. Secondly Lady Macbeth contributes to the murdering of King Duncan by encouraging Macbeth to kill Duncan. She ridicules and belittles Macbeth doubting his courage and manliness. In scene 5 act 1 Lady Macbeth quotes “And chastise with the valor of my tongue / All that impedes thee from the golden round, (1.5 15)” Lady Macbeth tells Macbeth that he the crown is at his highest desire and he must get it to fulfill that desire. Through those two reasons Macbeth ends up murdering King Duncan
The first reason, greed, has many textual evidence because it includes many quotes until Macbeth bring Duncan to his house. The quote that marks the beginning of greed in Macbeth is “Stands not within the prospect of belief, / No more than to be Cawdor. Say from whence / You owe this strange intelligence, (1.3 73)”, Macbeth is highly interested at the notion that he will be king and demands answers intriguing his curiosity which shows that he is interested. From then on he discovers that the prophecy is true “In which addition, hail, most worthy thane, / For it is thine. (1.3 107)” But at first before the greed really took its part Macbeth thought it was fate as mentioned in Act 1 scene 3 “If chance will have me king, why, chance may / crown me (1.3 147)” Macbeth says that if fate wants to make him king, without any effort he will become king. Lady Macbeth as mentioned before is not a supporter of moral righteousness instead a devil in disguise. “The raven himself is hoarse / That croaks the fatal entrance of Duncan / Under my battlements. Come, you spirits / That tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here (1.5 29)” Lady Macbeth further discusses her want for the crown and the death of the king. She even says “unsex me” which means she is giving up her feminine aspect for the crown.
Through all of these quotes from scenes 1.3 and 1.5 we are able to conclude that the main factors contributing to the murder of Duncan by Macbeth is greed and Lady Macbeth. Although at the end in 1.7 line 10 Macbeth reconsiders the actions and the consequences. He wants to stop the plan then, however Lady Macbeth questions his manliness and courage telling him he has to carry on with the plan. Therefore at the end of Act 1 Lady Macbeth carries more responsibility than greed in this murder.