First of all, before fingers are pointed at Macbeth, I ask you to consider if he is the only suspicious person? A murderer must have a motive and an opportunity. Obviously, there are several candidates that fit this category. Also, before you can reach a final decision, you must consider the character of the individual. Macbeth is a man of the finest character; he does not have the nature of a cold-blooded killer. I am sure you will agree with me long before you go into the jury room. Finally, the will of the gods must be taken into consideration.
It is not within the powers of mortals, even important mortals like Macbeth, to change the future as determined by the stars. I am confident that you, dear jury, will consider the three factors I will shortly describe and realize that Macbeth is a most unlikely suspect. First of all, Macbeth is not the only suspicious person. After all, where were the sons of Duncan just minutes after their father’s brutal murder? You would think that sons who really care about their father would want to discover the truth. What kind of son just runs off and vanishes when he learns of the horrific death of his own father? Where were Malcolm and Donalbain? If anyone here in this court lost a loved one, no one would turn his back, especially to a father.
But these young men, next in line to the throne, decided it would be a better idea to wait for the heat to go down. The only possible explanation is that they, themselves, felt guilty. Sadly, I fear, we must also look at Lady Macbeth. Although it is unpleasant to speak ill of the dead, I ask you, why is the Lady dead? We all know that in the period of time before her death she was crazy and possessed. She walked around the castle rubbing her hands and trying to remove the stains of blood that she thought she saw there.
Does this sound like an innocent woman? She believed that Macbeth was weak and not driven. She thought he was a man who avoids evil. In fact, she actually thought that she was more of a man than her own dear husband when it came to taking action to achieve the selfish goals she wanted to attain. Lady Macbeth said,.
. . Come, you spirits That tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here, And fill me from the crown to the toe top-full Of direst cruelty. (I. v. 38-40)Does this sound like a poor, frail woman? I don’t think so.
If Lady Macbeth wanted something, she took it. She knew that she could never rely on her husband, Macbeth, to do any kind of “dirty work”. When Macbeth refused to listen to her selfish, egotistical desires, Lady Macbeth simply did what she needed to do to get what she wanted – the power and status of a queen. If she was innocent of this horrendous crime, why would she be washing and rubbing her hands all day and night? As you can see, there are a few people who appear to be much more likely candidates for the murder of Duncan than Macbeth. Not only do Malcolm, Donalbain, and Lady Macbeth have motives to commit this act of murder, their behaviour also makes them look very guilty. But there are other reasons that prove that Macbeth would never murder Duncan.
Macbeth has always been faithful to the late Duncan. The two of them admired and enjoyed each other’s company. Just days before his death, Duncan gave Macbeth a new title for being a great general and a noble supporter of Scotland. Duncan recognized Macbeth as a valued and loyal countryman.
Duncan told Ross to announce the death of the previous Thane of Cawdor “And with his former title greet Macbeth” (I. iii. 67) because “What he hath lost noble Macbeth hath won. ” (I.
iii. 69) If Macbeth wanted Duncan to die, don’t you think that Duncan, the great, wise and respected monarch, would have had a suspicion that Macbeth was up to something? Duncan even slept at Macbeth’s house. Well, kings don’t go and sleep at just anyone’s home. Obviously, Duncan trusted Macbeth with his own life. If Duncan had this kind of faith in Macbeth who are we to now suspect this man of treason? Macbeth respected Duncan and loved him with all his heart. Besides, even if Macbeth contemplated this horrible crime, there is no reason in the world for him to expect that he would be crowned king after Duncan.
Macbeth wasn’t Duncan’s relative. Everyone knows that the kingdom is passed from father to son – not from king to loyal servant. It would be completely ridiculous for Macbeth to even think that he stood a chance to become king; it’s not like Duncan was childless. In fact, Duncan has two sons who are potential heirs to his throne.
Macbeth is not a stupid man. He knows how the monarchy system works. Logically, if Macbeth had actually thought up this murder, he would have had to murder Duncan’s two sons at the same time that he killed Duncan. Nothing of the sort ever happened. Finally, the death of the king was prophesized to happen. The witches, the unearthly messengers of the gods, foretold of many events that would occur.
They were never wrong. After all, it is impossible to stop fate. When something is going to happen it will follow through and happen. The third Witch said, “All hail, Macbeth! That shalt be King hereafter.
” (I. iii. 50) Sadly, Duncan’s fate was sealed with this prophesy. The only thing that was not known was when the deed would take place.
Each person has a destiny. We cannot stop destiny any more than we can stop a storm or an earthquake. In conclusion, Macbeth stands before you an innocent man. Unlike other people, such as Malcolm, Donalbain and even Lady Macbeth, Macbeth had no motive to commit this murder. Also, Macbeth is not the kind of person who would assassinate a king.
Macbeth has proven his loyalty to Scotland and to Duncan. He even risked his own life, without thought for himself, to protect Scotland and Duncan. This kind of person does not go around committing murder. Finally, no one has the power to change destiny. If Duncan’s fate was to die than the king’s end was predetermined regardless of Macbeth or any other individual.
Even the mighty Caesar could not stop destiny. For these reasons, I believe you will find Macbeth not guilty.