This term I've been working on Shakespeare's Macbeth. As expected, it is impossible to complete this topic without writing a creative piece. I think that this is because of the countless ideas that the story itself triggers inside the reader's head. Therefore, the main part of the play that stood out to me was the death of King Duncan. Many might think of this to be fairly strange since this scene isn't described, nor takes play during the play, but rather; it is the reader or viewer who has to realise the events that have happened. I thought that this scene was very intriguing due to this; and I was immediately pulled towards it and was so eager to write out the scene as I had imagined it myself... And so, this is it!
The Rise And Fall Of The Chest
Your eyes forcefully shut as you remind yourself that the rise and fall of the man’s chest who lies before you will soon stop. Your right fist tightens around the dagger that will take this gentle man’s life, and unnoticeable, your breath is gone. You struggle to keep your body balanced as you look at the peaceful portrait of the man who holds your title. The red sheets in which he lies, do nothing but urge you to complete your task, however, your humanity forbids you to do so. But, the longer you stand by the side of this soft coffin, the closer the daunting walls seem to get; the room becomes smaller. The king’s breath becomes faster. Every bone and muscle in your hand becomes tighter. Your thoughts, the words, the orders from your beloved wife do not allow you to concentrate, for she speaks of urgency, while you here, struggle to breathe; not to twitch, to think…
Abruptly, you are overcome with feelings that you cannot control. Feelings of longing and jealousy that you have never experienced. Your whole body tenses as the promises of royalty run through your head. Images of crowns, power, respect. It all seems so close. However, the man who lies before you, stands like a dark shadow within those dreams. Death will come tonight.
And so your fist is raised holding the “object that steals lives”. You bring it close to your face as if it were a treasure. You breathe out through your dry mouth. The heat from within you causes the dagger to fog up. No longer shiny and clean it is raised above your head by your rigid arm. Your blood pumps through your veins and you can feel every urgent heartbeat. You look down at the his bed. You take note once more at the rise and fall of the chest. The filling and emptying of the lungs. The persistent beating of the heart.
The knife finds its prey and attacks like any eagle would. In a fast, sharp action, the dagger rips through the thin layers of skin that protect the king’s life. It hits and rips open the heart and immediately, with the last pump of blood the whole body shakes. You hear a throb coming from the King but do not dare look at the place from which it originates. For the sign it too scaring for any man to taken in.
The King lets outs his last breath in the form of a dirty cough while your dagger rests between his ribs. And in an instant, the breath that you had unconsciously been holding is released. A moment of silence goes by, your hand still lying on top of a dead man. Your eager eyes begin to analyse the scene. The cold hand that desperately grabs onto a bloody bed-sheet. The arched back that hopelessly longs for another breath. And finally, your own eyes meet his. Now wildly open, and if any life was still in this man, they would be searching. Searching for reasons for your cruel action, yet they would find no answer within these four walls. For the trigger of your actions is a dark power hidden in your soul.
There is a piercing silence which allows for your slaughter to sink in. The reasons for your actions aren’t clear, nor fully known; yet the result of them will never leave you alone. Taking a man’s life was always easy in battle, but ripping the soul of a helpless man is not satisfying. It does not bring pleasure, it does not bring joy. It brings you an anxious feeling that will keep tormenting your mind. It brings a sea of blood that will cloud your soul. And it brings a sense of disorder that the people will destroy.
And so, you rip the dagger out with your bare hand that are now covered in what seems like endless blood, and you run. You run and realise that peace of mind is something that you have given up through your corrupted ambition, you have exchanged it for power, and pain along with it.