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‘This dead butcher and his fiend-like queen.’ How fair is this assessment of Macbeth and his wife?

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Introduction

'This dead butcher and his fiend-like queen.' How fair is this assessment of Macbeth and his wife? Firstly it is a good idea to remember who is making this comment. It is Malcolm who is just about to take the role of king of Scotland in place of his father's killer. Malcolm would have undoubtedly disliked and probably hated Macbeth for killing his father. So therefore, this comment about Macbeth and his wife may not be very fair. However it does hold some truth in it. Macbeth has butchered several characters or got others to butcher for him. Lady Macbeth has helped Macbeth with his butchering and in the play you see she has a very evil side to her. Being fiend-like means to be evil or devil-like, but Lady Macbeth's evilness along with Macbeth's were both driven by ambition. ...read more.

Middle

Macbeth obviously believes very much what the witches tell him and this shows us that the supernatural was taken very seriously in these times. Macbeth's downfall is really his own fault, because he makes a deliberate choice to take the road to evil. He is responsible for the murder of King Duncan, his colleague Banquo, and Lady Macduff and her children. At the end of the play Macbeth has changed from the 'Noble Macbeth' he was at the start, to a 'butcher' hated by everyone. At the start of the play Lady Macbeth seems to have a very strong character - stronger than Macbeth's does - but the end of the play reduces her to being afraid of the dark. At the beginning she is Macbeth's 'dearest partner of greatness', but at the end she is his 'fiend-like queen'. ...read more.

Conclusion

Lady Macbeth is often seen as a symbol of evil like the witches, but at the end she falls victim to evil just like her husband. After the murder of King Duncan Macbeth increasingly shuts her out of his plans, so she becomes lonely and rather isolated. At the end of the play it is suggested she committed suicide. I think that Macbeth does behave as a 'butcher' in parts of the play but is fooled by the supernatural. Lady Macbeth behaves in a 'fiend-like' manner in parts of the play but at the end this evils punishes her. What Malcolm says about Lady Macbeth applies to her early on in the play but when she goes insane I think she has changed and that she no longer has the ambition inside of her. I think Macbeth, in truth, was a butcher but only because he was convinced by others to be one. ?? ?? ?? ?? Felicity Giles ...read more.

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