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At the conclusion of the play, Malcolm refers to Macbeth as "this dead butcher and his fiend like queen

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Introduction

At the conclusion of the play, Malcolm refers to Macbeth as "this dead butcher and his fiend like queen." This is in direct contrast to the audience's introduction to Macbeth where he is described as a brave courageous soldier, loyal to his king Duncan and devoted to his wife. Aristotle said that the only "proper subject of tragedy, is the spectacle of a man not absolutely or eminently good or wise that is brought to disaster not by sheer depravity but by some error or frailty." Critic A. Quiller-Couch states that "tragedy demands some sympathy with the fortunes of the hero and however gross his error or grievous his frailty, it must not exclude our feeling that he is a man like ourselves." He argues how Shakespeare could make the audience sympathize with Macbeth, "a murderer and a murderer for his private profit... a traitor to his king, ingrate, self seeker, false kinsman, and perjured soldier." ...read more.

Middle

By releasing this potential for evil, chaos and suffering ensue until order is restored. Brother Michael also suggests that what is "behind good and evil and what is more fundamental matters predispose men to blood, lust and ambition." L.V. Knights states that "Macbeth defines a particular kind of evil- this evil that results from a lust for power". This lust for power "vaulting ambition which o'erleaps itself/ and falls on th' other" gives rise to the destruction of order by killing Duncan and forces of evil that cause extensive suffering. The play reflects the Elizabethan concept of world or social order... that a strong and just ruler was essential to keep social order. It explores the battle between good and evil, order and disorder. Violated nature demands retribution and order is only restored when Macbeth is slain. Both Macbeth and Lady Macbeth suffer savage retribution proportional to the crimes they commit. J.M. Gregan describes the play as the "most concise and moving account in our literature of a man's decline into evil... ...read more.

Conclusion

The fact that she dies is what is required for payment for the crimes committed. Lady Macbeth is revealed to us in three distinct stages. Firstly she is presented as the masculine woman full of will, energy and determination. Secondly, she is shown as a powerless queen who is no longer dominant of Macbeth. Thirdly Lady Macbeth is shown as an insane sleepwalker constantly being shown the crimes of the past and sufferings they have brought. In conclusion Malcolm's description of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth as "this dead butcher and his fiend like queen" is seen as quite harsh. Macbeth is tormented by his deeds and he never was to enjoy the crown that he has taken. We see him as a man who tries to take fate into his won hands and this action brings him nothing but grief and suffering. Therefore Macbeth should not be referred to as a butcher. Lady Macbeth does not deserve such a harsh title as she has committed no murder and it can be questioned if Malcolm ever saw the confrontation of murder from Lady Macbeth to Macbeth. ...read more.

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