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

At the end of the play, Malcolm calls Macbeth a butcher and Lady Macbeth his fiend-like queen. How far do you agree with this assessment of their characters?

Extracts from this document...


At the end of the play, Malcolm calls Macbeth a "butcher" and Lady Macbeth "his fiend-like queen." How far do you agree with this assessment of their characters? Macbeth is a play that was written with reference to king James as he and Macbeth both found it important to be a powerful ruler. During the Stuart period many people had a strong belief in the supernatural and in demonology, which was widespread throughout that era. King James had written a book entitled Demonology and had an interest in witchcraft and the supernatural, since he had encounters with witches that had plotted to kill him. King James also published a book under the title "The Divine Rights of Kings." This is a term used for the belief that God had appointed the king therefore killing a King would be worse than any ordinary murder. This makes Macbeth reluctant to kill king Duncan, as it is a crime against God and nature. Duncan is the rightful King of Scotland who is murdered by Macbeth for his throne. He is a noble, well-respected and dignified king. Duncan is generous and trusting of the people around him perhaps to trusting especially of the two Thanes of Cawdor, both of who betray him. Duncan is an important symbol as he represents the divine right of kings rule. In Act one Macbeth is a successful general, described using epithels as "noble", valiant and "brave," and respected by his king and his fellow soldiers. He has a significant flaw in his nature, however his ambition leads him to kill the rightful king of Scotland and the evil of this murder has extreme powerful effects on him. The witches play upon Macbeth's weaknesses and so does his equally ambitious wife, Lady Macbeth. Macbeth thinks that the supernatural powers of the witches will help him but instead they lead him to ruin. ...read more.


He sees life as a sandbank in the sea of eternity as shown in the words, "This bank the shoal of time." Macbeth is aware that the time goes past really fast and he knows that murdering Duncan lead to him losing his immortal soul this causes him to think life in a sandbank. Pathetic Fallacy is shown when the weather in the play often mirrors the goings-on. This is because in Stuart period, people believed that the state of the universe could be disturbed by a horrible act of treason, such as the murder of a good king like King Duncan. As seen in the words, "By the clock 'tis day, And yet dark night strangles the travelling lamp." This tries to show that the dark night and the clouds choke the sun. It should be daytime but it's getting very dark so early. On the night of Duncan's murder, thunder and lightening storm raged outside. Ross and an old man conversed about strange goings-on they had noticed. The use of pathetic fallacy has the effect of making the scenes of fear or violence more intense. This makes audience realise the severity of the situation that will occur. Near the end of the play, Macbeth has changed from the "Noble Macbeth" he was at the start, to a "butcher" and a "Bloody Tyrant" hated by everyone, since Macbeth has murdered the rightful king of Scotland this is evident in the quote, "I am afraid to think of what I have done." This shows that he has successfully committed the murder but the guilt that he bears inside him causes him to have a nervous break down. Macbeth is valiant at the start of the play since he has won the battle and this leads to king Duncan to say to Macbeth that he has started to "plant" him meaning that Macbeth will get a greater reward for his service for leading the battle to victory. ...read more.


His wife, Lady Macbeth is also a great factor that puts her husband under her great influence she is able to twist the thinking of Macbeth and she makes him believe that by committing the unthinkable deeds he can become successful in life by becoming King. The images of him becoming King help Macbeth become more eager to become crowned King. Therefore push him to murder the rightful king of Scotland with the great support of Lady Macbeth who convinces him with her twisted words that he is doing the right thing and the only way for him to be crowned is to commit a great sin against God. Lady Macbeth can be seen as a "Fiend Like queen" because she portrayed as evil and wicked because she forces and is able to persuade Macbeth with a great deal of convincing that killing King Duncan will be able to lead them to victory by becoming King and Queen of Scotland. Lady Macbeth at this stage in the play is shown as a vile and cruel person with no feelings of guilt in her conscience. But after the murder lady Macbeth's real identity comes out she turn into a weaker character that is scared of the dark because of the amount of blood she has seen on her hands from the murder. When Lady Macbeth says, "I would shame to wear a heart so white." This shows that she is really ashamed of what she has done and is very upset and distressed that she will able to live with the fact that she has been involved in the murder of her king. This quote shows that Lady Macbeth could not be as cruel and wicked as she is presented at the beginning, as she is able to feel the regret and is filled with mixed emotions of what she has caused to happen. ?? ?? ?? ?? English Coursework- Miss Gabriel By Samia Ahmed 11T/GA ...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. Kingship in Macbeth - In Act4 Scene3, Malcolm identifies "the King becoming graces", a ...

    He 'cured' the sick by touching them, but he didn't need to. He was the King of England, but he still had the generosity to heal people: "...there are a crew of wretched souls that stay his cure". This is saying that he cured people even though he was king.

  2. Is Lady Macbeth a Fiend-like queen?

    Lady Macbeth creates many dark images in the play. Her language is dark and sinister. This clearly reflects the "fiend-like" nature of Lady Macbeth: "murdering ministers", "dunnest smoke of hell" and "come, thick night." This language is extremely dark and "fiend-like." When we examine Act 1, Scenes 6 and 7, we again see Lady Macbeth as a "fiend-like queen."

  1. Discuss how Shakespeare presents Lady Macbeth and how her character develops during the play

    She is now in complete control. She reassures him like a little child 'We'll not fail...what cannot you and I/ perform on the unguarded Duncan?' It is clear whilst Macbeth was having a crisis of conscience Lady Macbeth continued to plot, to cover every angle, every detail.

  2. Discuss the role of Lady Macbeth in the play. Is it Lady Macbeth or ...

    She probably desires to get rid of most human qualities, and, instead be on a par with these 'magic murdering ministers' - The spirits of evil and murder. Lady Macbeth becomes very impatient and wants time to pass quickly so that she can proceed with her plans.

  1. Lady Macbeth is a 'Fiend like Queen' Discuss.

    Just before Macbeth was going to kill king Duncan, Lady Macbeth drugged the guard's drink. 'That hath made them drink, hath made me bold.' She was very proud about what she had done, she was boosting about it, this

  2. 'My dearest partner of greatness'. Explore the Relationship Between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth Throughout ...

    play and helps to show the change in character and the events turning full circle which is a vital aspect of the play and is instrumental to their relationship. The first turning point of the relationship comes in Act Two Scene Two when Lady Macbeth asks Macbeth to do the deed of killing Duncan.

  1. " Macbeth is a villain with heroic qualities. How far do you agree?"

    Although I see this as a weakness perhaps not a heroic quality but certainly not villainous. One of Macbeth great weaknesses is his love for Lady Macbeth. She has played a large part in ruining him but he still loves her and doesn't blame her, as it is he that did the dreadful deed.

  2. Shakespeare's use of the Supernatural in Macbeth

    too full of the milk of human kindness To catch the nearest way.' The quote above is saying that Macbeth is too loyal to Duncan and is a brave servant of him. She says he would not dare to do anything disloyal, as he is too kind to kill in cold blood.

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