• 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 Refers To Lady Macbeth As "Fiend-Like". How Far Do You Think This Is An Appropriate Description Of Her?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

At The End Of The Play, Malcolm Refers To Lady Macbeth As "Fiend-Like". How Far Do You Think This Is An Appropriate Description Of Her? When Malcolm refers to Lady Macbeth as "fiend-like", it evokes an assortment of reactions from the audience. A fiend would be devilish before, during and after committing murders. Before the murders, Lady Macbeth is strong, sure of herself and her husband's position, and certainly displays some fiend-like tendencies. While the murders are taking place, she is not so calm. She is more human - tense and nervous - certainly not devilish. After the murders, she is incapable of dealing with her guilt, ending with her death. An important factor to be considered throughout this study is varying meanings. The word "fiend", like many other words in the English language, has altered slightly in its meaning since Shakespeare's day. In today's dictionary1, the word fiend is described as "an evil spirit; an inhumanly wicked person." Similarly, but slightly different, in Shakespeare's day, a fiend was a devil or a devil's agent. A devil is, in Christian and Jewish theology, the supreme spirit of evil, who inhabits the earth to take souls to hell. ...read more.

Middle

She admits that she is nervous and has drunk alcohol to calm those nerves: "That which hath made them drunk, hath made me bold". She is nervous and jumpy, and confesses "I am afraid", which she certainly could not be if she was a fiend. She is beginning to show a more human side to her conscience. She also concedes that she is unable to kill Duncan herself, saying that if he had not "resembled My father...I had done't". If her fiend-like exterior ran deeper than the surface, his appearance would not have made a difference. In the presence of her husband, however, she is strong, encouraging and comforting. She shows no compassion when she says "a little water clears us of this deed", and orders him to "consider it not so deeply". During the murders she shows a more human interior, but when her husband needs her, for example when he needs to get rid of the daggers and set up the guards, she again becomes fiendish and shows an inclination towards evil. During the murder of Duncan, we catch a glimpse of Lady Macbeth's true character, seeing her more human side. ...read more.

Conclusion

Therefore, she may appear fiend-like, even though her character is not of a fiend, but of ambition. In fact, we cannot really expect the phrase "fiend-like" to be a fair comment, considering Malcolm is looking to ascertain his kingdom in place of his father's murderers. In addition, the staging of the Macbeths as wicked could be flattery of James I because of his succession from Banquo, so it is more than possible that Lady Macbeth was meant to be fiend-like in order to compliment James. There is sufficient evidence at the beginning of the play to call Lady Macbeth "fiend-like", but it is presumptuous of her character as a whole: Lady Macbeth is strong for her husband when he needs her to be, especially after Duncan's murder, and her ambition is portrayed as fiend-like tendencies. A fiend would be devilish before, during and after committing murders. In reality, she is unable to cope with the guilt, resulting ultimately in her death. It seems most of Lady Macbeth's actions are founded on weakness, not evil, as it is unfeasible for fiends to have consciences. Therefore, we can conclude that when Malcolm calls Lady Macbeth a "fiend-like queen", it is a less than just comment on her character. 1 Geddes and Grosset English Dictionary was used here. ...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. At the end of the play, Malcolm calls Macbeth a butcher and Lady Macbeth ...

    Macbeth wonders if the whole ocean will wash them clean. This suggests the vastness of the sea and of the murder committed; these words are shown in contrast. Macbeth starts to regret what he has done he looks at his bloody hands and says, "This is a sorry sight" Macbeth is tormented by his own terrifying imagination.

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

    need to do and makes it seem simple, easy, and bullet proof. The whole argument is obviously very well thought out and something that only a fiend like queen would be able to think up.

  1. There are two arguments as to whether Lady Macbeth is a fiend or a ...

    Women in Shakespeare's time didn't have any individual power, they weren't thought of as equals, and most didn't learn how to read and write. Women had absolutely no rights. Therefore it makes sense for Lady Macbeth to want Macbeth to become king, as then she can gain supremacy too.

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

    She finishes the scene with a demand "HOLD HOLD!" further emphasizing her shocking nature. In contrast to the previous speech Lady Macbeth starts with compliments and flattery when Macbeth arrives home (which is actually a fa´┐Żade) "Great Glamis" she says using joyful alliteration, to praise Macbeth and to sweeten him up for what she about to say.

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

    the murders he has committed: "With his surcease success" Here Macbeth is considering a good point about killing King Duncan, he will get the throne, but Macbeth's conscience also makes him consider a point why he should not commit the murder: "Strong both against the deed; then, as his host,

  2. Malcolm refers to Lady Macbeth as a

    She wastes no time in thinking up a plot to murder him that night in their castle. She is clearly the driving force behind Macbeth's ambition and is showing "fiend-like" qualities here in her plans. Macbeth is Duncan's loyal subject and has just been promoted for his bravery and loyalty in battle.

  1. His fiend-Like Queen is Malcolm(TM)s View of Lady Macbeth at the End of the ...

    She is taking everything into her own hands and seeing all the opportunities she has at that moment, but is failing to see further than that, to the consequences that may come about from her actions.

  2. To what extent do you agree with Malcolm's description of Lady Macbeth as a ...

    than her husband, she feels that, she as a woman isn't capable of doing something so treasonous and also sacrilegious. The moral Elizabethan audience would have been completely against her at this stage. She creates an image which shows the audience that the crime that she will commit is truly heinous.

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