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This dead butcher and his fiend-like queen To What Extent Do You Regard This Description of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth to be accurate and fair?

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Introduction

"This dead butcher and his fiend-like queen" To What Extent Do You Regard This Description of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth to be accurate and fair? At the beginning of play the audience has little idea of the characters Macbeth and Lady Macbeth, and learn more as the play progresses. During the progression from start to finish the views of the characters change due to the events that happen. However there are many different views of the characters, and different opinions on whether the description of "this dead butcher" and that of his "fiend-like queen" are really accurate or not. As the play opens the first mention of Macbeth provides an insight into his character that remains with the audience throughout the play, whether it is the dominant view of the character or not. When the audience first hear of the dramatic construct Macbeth, it is during the opening scene with the witches. The three witches that have gathered make arrangements to "meet with Macbeth". At this point in the play the audience has not yet met Macbeth and is given an insight of his character that seems to be associated with witchcraft. Having this as the first idea of Macbeth makes it more memorable, and more dominant when considering the character of Macbeth. However, as the play progresses the next mention of Macbeth shows another side to his character completely. As King Duncan hears about the battle descriptions of Macbeth as "Valour's minion" and "noble Macbeth" are in plentiful supply. ...read more.

Middle

When Lady Macbeth arrives and cuts Macbeth's soliloquy short the atmosphere becomes more tense, and Macbeth is unwilling to tell Lady Macbeth his fears and unwillingness. Lady Macbeth appears nervous when she addresses her husband. "He has almost supped. Why have you left the chamber?" By using two short sentences Shakespeare portrays a sense of urgency and nervousness. As Lady Macbeth shows her worry to Macbeth his reply becomes straight to the point, conveying his nerves as well. Macbeth follows this with a response that seems out of character judging by his previous behaviour but may just be him playing his true character as he is in the sole presence of his wife. When Macbeth says "We will proceed no further in this business," the audience sees what appears to be a dramatic change of character, but as the scene progresses it appears that Lady Macbeth is used to his unwillingness and his opposition to her dominant decisions as well as his sense of conscience, as she is quick to follow with words that she knows will clearly sway Macbeth's judgement. Lady Macbeth clearly presents herself in Act 1 Scene 7 as dominant. When Macbeth so much as mentions his doubts, and begins to show some sense of a conscience Lady Macbeth is keen to smother them and seems to know exactly how to control her power over his decisions. To the audience it appears with little protest that Lady Macbeth manages to persuade Macbeth that to not kill Duncan would be uncourageous, and "like the poor cat i'th'adage". ...read more.

Conclusion

Macbeth seems rather dismissive of this fact and simply replies "She should have died hereafter; There would have been a time for such a word." The audience are unsure here as to whether Macbeth actually cares of his wife's death or whether he believes he has more important things on his mind. Once Macbeth has been killed, Malcom calls his a "dead-butcher" and refers to Macbeth's wife as "his fiend-like queen." Unlike the dominant reading I believe that Lady Macbeth is named here correctly as is her husband. Many people would disagree that Lady Macbeth is a "fiend-like queen" but I think that she knew the true extent of her influence over her husband and used it in ways she should not have. After the murder she is plagued with guilt but before hand she was very keen on the idea, but also keen not to commit the murder herself. As for Macbeth I am sure of his guilt as well. For the first murder he was heavily influenced by his wife, but overall his desire for the witches' proficy to come true was his main influence. After his first murder Macbeth killed many more in order to protect himself from being discovered for who he really was. During his murder of Banquo and Fleance Lady Macbeth is kept out of all knowledge so has not opportunity to influence Macbeth. Therefore, although Macbeth was at first influenced and encouraged, he had the opportunity to stop the murdering as he was free from all influence, but he did not. ...read more.

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