• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

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

Extracts from this document...


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.


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.


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.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Macbeth section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Macbeth essays

  1. "This dead butcher and his fiend like queen" How far do you agree with ...

    He's here in double trust:/ First I am his kinsman and his subject, / Strong both against the deed; then, as his host/ Who should against his murderer shut the door,/ Not bear the knife myself."(I.vii.12-16). He is thinking that Duncan has trusted him first as Thane of Cawdor and second as host.

  2. How far does Macbeth deserve the title "Butcher"?

    rebelled directly against God and was responsible through witch's and evil spirits for all attacks on the divine order. Through history during the time society was increasingly preoccupied with witchcraft. Laws came into order so that anyone who was suspected of witchcraft could be executed.

  1. At the end of the play Malcolm refers to this dead butcher and his ...

    but without illness that should attend it" to do what she thinks must be done to become king. It is strange that straight away she thinks that the only way it will happen is if they kill Duncan and not just think that it will happen just because it is the future.

  2. Macbeth: Tragic Hero or Dead Butcher?

    Not being able to say this implies that God will not bless him and that he is doomed to eternal damnation. Macbeth also thinks that he hears a voice foretelling that he not sleep anymore " Me thought I heard a voice cry 'sleep no more: Macbeth does murder sleep'..."

  1. "This butcher and his fiend like queen"

    However, on the other hand, there is some evidence that must be taken into account. Lady Macbeth acknowledged the guilt, and bore it, until her state of mind became very disturbed. Lady Macbeth was washed by the guilt of assassinating Duncan, that she became a mere shadow of her commanding

  2. At the end of the play Malcolm calls lady Macbeth a fiend like queen. ...

    "Is this a dagger I see before me" he asks himself using a rhetorical question, as Macbeth is in a lost state of mind in which he is trying to drown his guilt, he doesn't want to do the murder but instead the guilt is drowning him.

  1. Macbeth - Hero to butcher

    Some say that this is the beginning of Macbeth's downfall, as in his first soliloquy he has already thought of the idea of murdering his king. This small seed planted in his mind will soon sprout and he will indeed commit treason.

  2. “This dead butcher and his fiend-like queen” how far has Shakespeare encouraged his audience ...

    Who should against his murderer shut the door, Not bear the knife myself." Macbeth feels that he should be the one protesting King Duncan in his house, not the one trying to kill him. Shakespeare made the audience identify with Macbeth.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work