Seizing the Throne

The prophecy of the three witches still echoes in my mind: me, the king! The thought seems so unrealistic, so unlikely. But then, part of the prophecy had already come true; I was now Thane of Cawdor. Could it really be I am destined to take Duncan's throne? The steady motion of my horse stops, pulling my thoughts back to the present. We have arrived at my home, the castle Inverness. Anxious to discuss the prophecy with my beautiful and clever wife, I leap from my horse, leaving them to be fed by the stable hands, and walk up the stone path. Although I had already written to her while with the king, telling of my good fortune and the prophecy, I strongly desired to discuss these strange events with her in person.
The wooden door crashes against the wall as I burst into her bed chamber. She rises, a smile playing at the corner of her lips.
“Lord Macbeth,” she greets me. “Thane of Cawdor, soon to be king.”
“So you believe the prophecy? You really think it is possible?” I question.
“What the witches said will come to pass. I will see to it.”
She will see to it? I begin to wonder what scheme was forming in her mind.
“His majesty the King will arrive here soon and plans to depart the next morning,” I inform her.
She laughs a confident, careless laugh. “I would not be so sure he will ever leave this castle alive. Leave everything to me and I will take care of it all.” Just then, trumpets herald the arrival of the king. Lady Macbeth hastens out to greet him in the courtyard, while I sit, reflecting on her words.
The servants prepare the great hall for the feast, while I pace up and down in nervous thought. King Duncan greets me so fondly and with so much affection. I cannot betray him, he is my Lord and my King. Moreover, he is a noble and just king. The people love him, and serve him well. The motivation of my own greed is not enough to perform such a horrendous act. No, I will not allow this to happen. I will not go through with it. At that moment my thoughts are interrupted by my wife, bringing a message.
“The King has dined, my love, and is asking for you.”
“I cannot kill the king. He is my Lord and Sovereign, and we are hosts to him here,” I whisper, although the look of anger on my wife’s face makes me falter in my resolve.
“What are you, a cowardly boy that you will not do this? You are a weakling and a fool! This is our chance, the way for the prophecy to be fulfilled and you to gain the power of the throne, and you throw it away for fear?”
“But what will happen if we fail? If they learn of the plot? Everything will be lost!”
“You fool! We will not fail, as long as we are bold and move quickly. This is your destiny and your right. You have long deserved this. Seize this opportunity and claim your rightful throne!”
Late that night, my heart pounds as I place one foot in front of the other, slowly feeling my way towards Duncan’s bedchamber. I slip pass the sleeping guards, through the open doorway. The room is dark, with only a thin ray of moonlight shining from the window. I walk to the bed and look down at the sleeping form of the king. He looks so fragile, so delicate. The man whom I had served my entire life, whom I had loved and who had loved me. Can I really do this? Am I able to take the life of a man who had blessed me with so much? I am not weak. No, I am a man! I can do this. I can take control of my life. This is my destiny! My calling! My victory! I plunge the knife deep into his body. It is over, I have won. Panting, I stand over the lifeless form of King Duncan and watch as the blood slowly spreads onto the white sheets, staining them a dark red. A wild, victorious laugh wells up inside me and springs from my throat. I am now king. In this moment of death, I gain a whole new life. A life of conquest and victory. Life and death, they are one and the same. To live, to be or not to be.

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