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Are Macbeth and Lady Macbeth 'evil murderers?'

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Ben Davey Rd. English Coursework on Macbeth 11/11/03 Are Macbeth and Lady Macbeth 'evil murderers?' At the start of this play Macbeth is mentioned by witches which doesn't give him credibility with the audience, whilst soon after Macbeth is seen as a brave, loyal and trustworthy servant of his king, Duncan. Almost as soon as the play starts, you hear of Macbeth's bravery; "Brave Macbeth-well he deserves that name...Like Valour's minion." But soon after he has his meeting with the witches he is already scheming; "This supernatural soliciting cannot be ill." One of the central points of this play is the question of whether or not Macbeth would have become so evil if he had not met the witches. In my opinion Macbeth would have remained as he originally was. By the end of the play his only redeeming features left are those of bravery and remorse. He realises that he is about to die and refuses to surrender to Macduff and face ridicule. This shows his pride, but he also doesn't fear his death; "Lay on, Macduff, and damned be him that first cries, 'Hold, enough.'" Macbeth knows that he is about to die as soon as he sees Birnam Forest on the move, and resigns himself to death, musing on the futility of life; "Life is but a walking shadow." ...read more.


This much is evident from his use of language and his gradual loss of emotion. He is not completely mad, as he does retain some sanity for his fight with Macduff. The statement that Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are 'evil murderers' I find to be over exaggerated, because at heart I believe that there is still some compassion, certainly in Lady Macbeth, even if not really in her husband, as she continues to love her husband until she goes mad. Her compassionate side is also visible in her inability to murder Duncan. At the start of the play, Macbeth has many redeeming features, notably: bravery, loyalty, courage, love, and motivation, to an extent. Halfway through the play he appears to have lost bravery and courage when he cannot murder his friend himself and then runs from his ghost, he has also very little love left for his wife, as his mind is on other things, and his motivation has gone, as what he wanted has been achieved. His loyalty has gone, as there is no one to be loyal to apart from maybe his wife. At the end of the play he has definitely lost love and motivation, but he seems to have regained his bravery and courage, but this may only be because he knows that he is finished, whatever happens, and resolves to put on a brave face until the end; "Why should I play the Roman fool and die on mine own sword?" ...read more.


He practically admits his guilt to them, especially of the murder of Duncan. Lady Macbeth is instantly making excuse on her husbands behalf, and gets the Lords to leave so that there are no further damning revelations. This is typical of her love for her husband, through thick and thin, even when the outlook is bleak. I believe that Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are not evil murderers. However, both possess some evil qualities, as well as their good ones. On the one side there is murder itself, deceit, cowardice, motivation, cold-heartedness and evil itself, whilst on the other side there is bravery, motivation, strength, love, courage, loyalty and guilt. All these features weigh up and show that there is always more good than evil in Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. Both Macbeth and Lady Macbeth himself have redeeming qualities, some they retain until the end, some that they gradually abandon, and some that they gain, but I do not think that they are evil murderers, but were originally good, loyal people who are slowly tainted by the witches and the emergence of the ambitions. I personally believe that none of the murders would ever have occurred had the witches not spurred Macbeth's ambitions. ?? ?? ?? ?? Ben Davey English Coursework Ben Davey 1 ...read more.

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