The Murder of King Duncan

March 17, 2008
By Maria Agostini, Attleboro, MA

Macbeth has just entered the staying courtiers of King Duncan.
With the daggers of the sleeping guards outside in both hands, Macbeth is about to committee one of the most infamous murders.

Macbeth slowly turns around to close the door behind him. As he grabbed the handle and stepped back, the hinge made a loud creaking noise. Macbeth quickly turned to see if the noise had wakened the king, but what he saw startled him more than anything. Threw the window on the other side of the room, the moon could be seen in its full form. It lit the room and made the king perfectly visible in his bed. But nothing could be seen better than the crown upon the kings head.

As the door shut behind Macbeth, time seemed to freeze. What would normally take seconds, took minutes. Every detail in the room stood out. The candle with trails of wax down the side. The day robe in the corner was lined with gold trim and the crown. The gems shimmered in the in the moonlight like stars in the sky. The gold shined brighter than the sun. As Macbeth observed these details, his heart beat faster and faster. Sweat formed above his brow and started to run down his face. His traveled went from one thing to another. Duncan’s face to the crown, the robe in the corner to the crown, the candle on the table to the crown. No matter how much he tried, his eyes always went to the crown.

After moments of staring at what is to come, Macbeth took the first step toward his fate. Left then right, right then left. Whatever the pattern, the same thoughts and voices would have run threw his head. “Thane of Glamis.” “Thane of Cawdor.” “That shalt be king hereafter.” The fact that he is now Thane of Cawdor fears him. “How could those witches have known such thing would come in my future? Am I truly meant to be king? Is this how it should happen?” He thought of what his wife said that “If it is meant to be, why not just make it come sooner?” The more Macbeth questioned what he was about to do, the more he started to reconsider his intended actions. Suddenly Macbeth took one step backwards, and he stopped. “Do it. Just do it! If you love me, do it.” Macbeth could see his wife, glaring at him and uttering these intimidating words. But with that one step back, Macbeth now took two steps forward. He was now at the side of the bed staring down at his king.

Now the murder was inevitable. Macbeth looked at the defenseless king, sleeping peacefully. He could see the king’s chest rise and fall, inhaling and exhaling his last breaths. Macbeth observed the king with extreme intent. Then, “Macbeth. Macbeth. King Macbeth.” Macbeth’s right hand rose above his head. “King. King” his grip on the dagger tightened. Macbeth started to breathe faster and faster. “Do it. King Macbeth. If you love me.” Then, time froze as Macbeth brought down his hand and dagger, and he stabbing

Duncan’s eyes opened to see Macbeth above him. “Macbeth?”

A smile grew across Macbeth’s face “King now.” Macbeth pulled the dagger out of Duncan’s chest and stabbed him with the other dagger. Duncan tried to scream for the guards, but before he could, Macbeth cut his throat, blood splattered on the sheets, the ground and on Macbeth. He had lost control. He repeatedly stabbed his now dead king. Blood flew threw the air landing on Macbeth’s hands, his rode, and on his face. He could feel the daggers hit bone and organs. The daggers cut threw the flesh smoothly and swiftly. Macbeth pierced the body four, five, eight times and then he paused. Gazing at his work, Macbeth was now done, but then he rose the blade high above is head in with all his might, he drove the dagger directly threw the kings heart. And with one last pull, Macbeth took the dagger from the king’s chest, causing a streak of blood to land across Macbeth’s face. Through the darkness and in the distance, a wolf howled as Duncan died.

After a fit of stabbing, Macbeth stood there holding the daggers in his hands. The sheets were soaked in blood. Where Duncan’s chest once was, was now wounds, blood and cut flesh. It was done. The king was now dead. A new one would now rise and rule Scotland. The Weird Sisters were right, Macbeth would now become king.

Macbeth looked at the king’s mutilated corps, smiling. He then laughed the most terrifying, disturbing laugh. Blood was dripping from his hands and was smeared across his face. His eyes stared at Duncan’s body, whose mouth was opened slightly, trickles of blood on his lips. The king’s eyes were in an empty stare into nothingness, but at the same time they were filled with the feeling of betrayal. His right arm lie limp over the edge of the bed, blood streamed down it onto the floor. On his throat was the gash where Macbeth had sliced to prevent his call for help. Blood covered it completely. And the crown, untouched by blood, was now Macbeth’s for the taking.

Gazing at the crown, Macbeth was proud off what he had done. “Take it. Take it!” a voice said. Impatiently Macbeth reached for the crown, but before he touched it, he saw his hand stained with the king’s blood. He awoke from this trance like state and stared at his hand. He then looked past his hand at the dead king’s face. Macbeth looked down at the other hand, seeing a dagger covered in blood. Past that, on the ground, was the second dagger that he must have dropped. “No.” he said in shock “What Have I done? Dear God, what have I done?!” He looked at the king’s body, mutilated and destroyed.

Macbeth stumbled backwards, terrified at what he had done. He turned his head away, hoping that what he saw was not true. He slowly turned it back, hoping to see the king, asleep in his bed, and alive. But when he saw the dead body, Macbeth was overcome with thoughts and emotions. He was afraid but confident, confused but understanding, guilty but proud about what he had done. He wondered if he would be caught. What should he do about Duncan’s two sons? Will the guards be executed for the crime they will be blamed for? Will he rule as king with his wife like they imagined?

Macbeth slowly turned. His back now to the corps, he proceeded to the door. After exiting the room he looked back at the door, picturing what was behind it. Macbeth took a few steps backwards and saw the two guards, asleep and unaware of what had just taken place on the other side of the wall. Macbeth thought of how Duncan tried to call for help. Knowing that if he hadn’t slit his through he would have been caught and arrested. It was for the best he thought.

Macbeth turned and started to walk to his room when he looked at his hands once more, but he could not look away. His hands were now stained with the blood of a good, innocent king. Nothing could make what he did right. No matter what his wife said, he had just murdered the king. “What have I done? What could be so important that I would kill for it? God. What have I done?” Still looking at his hands, Macbeth unknowingly navigated his way threw the castle to his room, and when he looked up he saw his wife. “I have done the deed.”

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