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

    "if good, why do I yield to that suggestion" meaning that he because he might have to kill Duncan it a bad thing. Therefore at this point in the book I don't think that Macbeth is a butcher, but is just starting to be tempted to become one.

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

    It was a message to the audience at the time not to plot against the king as the consequences would fall upon you. The society in which Macbeth lived in also believed in God. They believed that if there was good there had to be evil known as Satan who

  2. Macbeth: Tragic Hero or Dead Butcher?

    on to becoming king and they make him even more hungry for power "Let us towards the king." His thoughts start to become more closed around this and he starts to consider killing King Duncan because he feels that this is the only way that he can become king.

  1. At the start of the play, King Duncan refers to Macbeth as 'worthy gentleman'. ...

    The witches now get their message across to Macbeth, that he will become Thane of Glamis, Thane of Cawdor and King of Scotland. As a result of the prophecies, this made Macbeth curious of how he could be King of Scotland.

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

    of Macbeth as a butcher, as we are shown that Macbeth is thinking about the murder. Macbeth is obviously very stressed out about committing the murder. This makes him hallucinate. Macbeth sees a dagger covered in blood; this dagger leads Macbeth to King Duncan.

  1. At the end of the play, Malcolm refers to: “This dead butcher and his ...

    The first prophecy that the witches made had come true, and he is now considering whether the third prophecy is true or not. He seems unsure whether he should act upon their predictions or not. Macbeth is eventually persuaded to murder Duncan by Lady Macbeth.

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

    is a compliment towards Macbeth and Lady Macbeth, which is an ironic twist as they are both planning to kill him. Banquo also compliments Lady Macbeth. This is also quite ironic. Lady Macbeth is very two faced as she tells her guests that she will serve their every need and

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