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“This dead butcher and his fiend-like queen” how far has Shakespeare encouraged his audience to agree with Malcolm’s statement at the end of the play?

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Introduction

"This dead butcher and his fiend-like queen" how far has Shakespeare encouraged his audience to agree with Malcolm's statement at the end of the play? In the final scene of the play, we hear Malcolm's feeling towards Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. Malcolm describes Macbeth as a butcher and Lady Macbeth as a devil. Malcolm feelings in the final scene may be biased as he feels that Macbeth killed his father for no reason. The audience in this play have been able to hear Macbeth and Lady Macbeth's soliloquies, and have followed their action thought out the play. This has helped the audience to identify and understand why they have done what they have done. We have to look closely at Macbeth and Lady Macbeth to see how far Shakespeare has encouraged the statement made by Malcolm in the play. Macbeth is compared to a butcher. A butcher cuts up animals with no emotional engagement to the animal. A butcher may be thought of as a cold hearted and cruel person, despite this people are still very happy to go to the butchers shop and buy meat. They are often seen to have no conscience, as they give no second thought to what they are doing. I do not feel that Shakespeare has encouraged the audience to think of Macbeth as a butcher. At the beginning of the play, Shakespeare has portrayed Macbeth to be a brave and respected person as he has risked his life to save Scotland for King Duncan. Macbeth is rewarded, by being giving another title "Thane of Cawdor". The audience see Macbeth as a hero. Shakespeare has put the scene where we hear about Scotland's victory after the scene where we meet the witches. The scene with the witches is unsettling, strange, and mysterious. The scene ends with an unsettling chant: "Fair is foul and foul is fair" As we go into the next scene and hear about Macbeth, the audience feel settled and relived as he has saved the king, which shows him to be loyal, and the audience feel as if they can trust him. ...read more.

Middle

It is as if it has come to the point where Macbeth does not need a reason for his action he just does as he pleases without giving it a second thought. The audience no longer feel that they can identify with Macbeth, we feel distant from him. It is almost as if everything in the play has turned around. In the beginning of the play, we hated Macbeth and sympathised with Macbeth, but Now Lady Macbeth has become a softer person and we hate Macbeth. If is as is they have switched rolls. This is what the witches predicted in there prophecy: "Fair is foul, foul is fair" The witches are telling us that things will turn upside-down, good will turn bad and bad will turn good. In this scene, I do not feel that Shakespeare has encouraged us to think of Macbeth as a butcher, as his actions cannot be justified and the audience feel disgusted by him, as they do not understand how a man can carry out such horrific murders. Macduff's reaction to the death of his wife is very different to Macbeth's reaction to the death of his wife. Macduff is speechless whereas Macbeth has quite a long speech when he first hears about the death of his wife. Macduff is very upset and even talks about crying, whereas Macbeth was aware that something like this was going to happen and does not seem as sad. When the audience make this comparison, it shows them that Macbeth has no feelings towards his wife. The audience feel that not only has Macbeth distances himself from them but also from the only person he could tell everything to, his wife Lady Macbeth. Macbeth is left a very isolated man as his wife and best friend; the two people he could count on are dead. Towards the end of the play I feel that Shakespeare has encourages the audience to think of Macbeth as a butcher. ...read more.

Conclusion

This shows that Lady Macbeth is not like a devil. In fact, it shows that she is rather weak. Lady Macbeth finds herself very isolated, as she has no one to talk too. She feels that she cannot talk to her husband Macbeth as he has enough to deal with and she feels that she has to be strong for him so she therefore feel that she cannot burden him with her problems. Keeping all of her problems locked up drives her insane; it is as if the problems are eating her up inside. The audience see Lady Macbeth sleepwalking. She is reliving the night of King Duncan's murder in her mind. She regrets the actions she took. She starts to talk in rhyme: "The thane of fife had a wife" This is like the witches, as the witches are always talking in rhyme. Lady Macbeth starts to hallucinate just like Macbeth: "Washing her hands of this deed" She is trying to wash the blood off her hands. In the end, it all gets too much for her to handle so she commits suicide. In the play, Lady Macbeth suggested that she dose not have a conscience and Macbeth has, as he is too full of the milk of human kindness. In the end of the play, it is Lady Macbeth who is affected by her conscience and Macbeth conscience does not really bother him in the end. This is like "fair is foul, foul is fair" In the play, I do not feel that Shakespeare has encouraged the audience to think of Lady Macbeth as a devil at the end of the play, in fact she is portrayed as weak. However, there are some elements to her personality, which closely link her to the witches. In the play the audience have gone from hating her to feeling sorry for her as she has no one to turn to in the end, although they do feel that she has bought it all on herself. ?? ?? ?? ?? Tejal Maru 1 ...read more.

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