This was an oral presentation, in which I prosecuted Macbeth. I received a grade of A-, however was told that it was my actual presentation rather than my essay that stopped me getting a higher grade 🙂
Ladies and Gentlemen, I will be brief. You have heard the testimonies and seen the evidence; it is now time for the fate of Macbeth to be decided. Today you have met scores of witnesses testify, under oath, the defendants entirely good and honest character, and have pondered as to how the King of Scotland could commit such atrocities. However, unmistakable evidence opposes such testimonies and proves beyond reasonable doubt that the defendant Macbeth killed his King, Duncan the II of Scotland, his life-long friend Banquo and Lady Macduff and her children.
Over the last six months we have seen Macbeth degrade from a fearless and heroic warrior to a murderer, a conscious villain who felt extreme guilt after killing his King out of pure greed and ambition. His servant, as testified, overheard Macbeth express his guilt to his wife on the night of the murder:
I am afraid to think what I have done;
Look on t again I dare not.
Following his crowning at Scone, King Macbeth hired three assassins to murder his long-time friend Banquo, in order to protect his crown. It was after the murder of Banquo that Macbeth then turned into an unmerciful, non-repentant tyrant. This man, once heralded a hero, became the bane of Scotland and his people.
The defense has tried to manipulate facts to persuade you that Macbeth is not to blame for these murders and has placed responsibility for these deaths on everyone from Lady Macbeth to the witches, who occasionally conversed with the accused. You have heard testimonies of the three witches, who told us of their encounters with Macbeth. What sort of man would associate with such evil beings, and most of all, believe the nonsense they foresee? The witches did not directly influence Macbeth to assassinate his King, they only speculated as to what the future may hold and these predictions ignited his overwhelming ambition to become King. These associations with the witches bring serious doubts to the goodness of the defendants character.
Speculations that Lady Macbeth is responsible for Duncans murder have been made by the defense. But blood found on this cloak hidden in Macbeths quarters proves without doubt that it was Macbeth who actually committed the murder. He is ultimately to blame. The accusations made by Macbeths lawyers that Lady Macbeth pressured her husband to assassinate Duncan are irrelevant. It is unthinkable that such a brave and valiant soldier could be so weak as to be influenced by his wife to commit murder, unless he had already considered doing it, or had something to gain from the death of Duncan, such as the throne of Scotland.
The defense has tried to convince you that Macbeth was insane at the time of King Duncans murder. If he were not sane, would he have been seen as such a well-loved and courageous soldier? Would he have been so respected by his King to be honoured with the title of Thane of Cawdor, had he been ill at mind? These notions themselves are insane! Macbeth was sane and rational at the time of the murder! Yes, Macbeth did show signs of derangement a week after the murder at the banquet, as testified by Ross, who attended the feast and described to you the accuseds strange behaviour. Could an innocent man be driven mad over a period of a week? It was his conscience, my friends, which drove him insane!
After the pre-meditated murders of Duncan and Banquo, the pressures of being King, and the mounting guilt of the murders he had committed, were increasing. Overheard by his servant, Macbeth said to his wife
I am in blood, Steppd in so far
The outlet for his rage was Lady Macduff and her family. This pointless, and motiveless, massacre shows the cruelty and immorality that has become a part of Macbeth. He did not stand to gain anything from the deaths of these innocent people. No longer was he the honoured soldier, or the compassionate King, but the brutal tyrant.
We must stop making excuses for this cold-hearted man. He was not influenced by his wife or witchcraft. He was sane when he brutally murdered his King. He was influenced only by his ambition and greed to become King; he was influenced by his selfishness and hunger for power. From hero to heartless tyrant, this is the tragedy of Macbeth. Ladies and Gentlemen, his time has come. Macbeths fate lies in your hands. I trust that you will make the right judgment.