Macbeth: The Third Murderer

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William Shakespeare’s Macbeth is a five-act play that tells the tragic story of a Scottish nobleman. In the beginning of the drama, the main character, Macbeth, kills a traitor who was leading an army against Duncan, the King of Scotland. However, when three witches tell Macbeth that he will become the ruler of Scotland, he loses his loyalty for king and country. Encouraged by this prediction, Macbeth slowly descends into a state of evil, becoming willing to kill anybody in his way of the crown, including the king himself. After successfully killing Duncan and becoming king, Macbeth hires two murderers to kill Banquo, whose offspring threaten Macbeth’s rule. But when the two murderers are about to assassinate Banquo, a mysterious third…show more content…
First, the scholar points to the trust that Macbeth seems to have with the attendant. Macbeth speaks to the attendant with “a tone of marked contempt,” making this servant seem like “some wretched creature who was entirely in Macbeth’s power” (Irving 147). According to the reviewer, such a tone suggests that Macbeth can completely control the attendant without much effort, which makes him the perfect person to send along. But why would Macbeth need the attendant to assist the two murderers? Irving attempts to answer this question by stating that the Attendant could watch over the other killers (148). In other words, Macbeth needs to make sure that the two murderers will do their job, so he might have sent his loyal attendant. Additionally, Irving’s theory explains why the other two murderers accept the third without many questions: the murderers already knew that they could trust the attendant (148). Since the attendant was present when Macbeth was addressing the hired assassins, they are already familiar with the attendant. Furthermore, Irving uses a situation after the murder of Banquo to verify his proposition. After completing the killing, one of the murderers goes to Macbeth’s castle, where a party is going on, to tell him that Banquo has died. Due to the party, there are many guests at the castle. Therefore, the entrance of the murderer could raise suspicion from Macbeth’s guests, but he arrives unnoticed. To explain the odd entrance, Irving suggests that the Attendant led him through the castle (150). Thus, Macbeth’s guests did not question the killer’s arrival since he was with the trusted Attendant. Ultimately, Macbeth’s trust in the Attendant make him a likely candidate for the Third Murderer, who was

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