• 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 Malcom refers to Macbeth and his wife as "..this dead butcher and his fiend-like queen.." (V, 9, 36). Do you think Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are equally villainous? Explain you thoughts in detail.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Jacob Goering 10C At the end of the play Malcom refers to Macbeth and his wife as "..this dead butcher and his fiend-like queen.." (V, 9, 36). Do you think Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are equally villainous? Explain you thoughts in detail. In William Shakespeare's play, Macbeth, there is no doubt that the "dead butcher and his fiend like queen" (V, 9, 36) are both villainous; however they are villainous to varying degrees. We are first exposed to both of their villainy when Macbeth and Lady Macbeth hear of the witch's predictions, and their reaction is to murder Duncan. Even though Macbeth is initially portrayed as being courageous and honorable, he eventually becomes more villainous than Lady Macbeth. Lady Macbeth appears very villainous to begin with, because she encourages and provokes her husband to murder King Duncan. However she has nothing to do with the murders that Macbeth commits later on in the play: Macduff's family, Banquo, and young Seaward. Upon hearing the three witch's foretellings, "All hail Macbeth, hail to thee, thane of Glamis. All hail Macbeth, hail to thee, thane of Cawdor. All hail Macbeth, that shalt be king hereafter."(I, 3, 47) Macbeth begins to contemplate the possibility of becoming king, and even thinks about the possibility of murdering Duncan. ...read more.

Middle

Whether he failed to convince himself or to convince his Lady is irrelevant; he still went through with the murder causing himself to be the more villainous. She seems to be the better criminal; she remembers the details that Macbeth has overlooked, "Why did you bring these daggers from the place?" (II, 2, 51) and she takes the daggers back. Even before that early point in the play, Lady Macbeth has already demonstrated that she is two-faced, and very good at deception. When Duncan first arrives at the castle, Lady Macbeth acts as a welcome hostess, in reality while she is greeting the king she is thinking about how best to murder him. Not only does Lady Macbeth push her husband to do things he does not want to do, she also informs him that his face is too easy to read, and that he needs to hide the murders. Of course, she does not want her husband or herself to get caught, so she gives him advice in the area of deceptiveness. When she tells him to "look like th' innocent flower, but be the serpent under 't" (I, 5, 76), Lady Macbeth is not just doing this so that Macbeth will not give himself away, but so that he will not give her away. ...read more.

Conclusion

This revealed when Macbeth says, "If chance will have me king, why, chance may crown me, without my stir". His ambition to be king dissolved his good nature and morality. When Duncan arrived at Macbeth's castle and estate, Macbeth controlled his ambition for the time being and thought very firmly on the plotting of Duncan's murder. When Lady Macbeth said "My hands are of your color; but I shame to wear a heart so white" she was calling him a coward, and not long after Duncan was dead. After the successful murder of Duncan, Macbeth entered a life of villainy. Ambition was also a clear motive to the murder of his friend Banquo. The witches' predictions sent Macbeth into his own world where he could not be stopped on his way to becoming king. The brave hero from in Act I has metamorphosised in to someone or something that is completely villainous. Although Lady Macbeth at times in the play provided the spark that caused Macbeth to commit murder, and although she may be villainous, Macbeth is ultimately far more villainous. He will do anything and will stop at nothing to preserve the crown in his head and is entirely driven by his greed and ambition. Macbeth's rise and fall from power in the play, Macbeth relates very closely to the quotation, "Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely." ...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. Marked by a teacher

    "this dead butcher, and his fiend-like queen". Are these words by Malcolm an appropriate ...

    4 star(s)

    Whilst they are washing the blood off, Lady Macbeth remarks, "A little water clears us of this deed." What Lady Macbeth means by this is that, by washing the blood off their hands they shall not be caught, little does she know that the guilt will kill them.

  2. Marked by a teacher

    'Do you think that Lady Macbeth is a good wife to an ambitious husband? ...

    3 star(s)

    Lady Macbeth urges Macbeth to act on his desires or he will think of himself as a coward. All of this goes straight into Macbeth's mind, which is full of ideas for glory and honour. Maybe the dishonour that cowardice would bring is to great a burden for "brave Macbeth".

  1. Is Lady Macbeth a Fiend-like queen?

    In scene 2, we see that Lady Macbeth has been drinking: "That which hath them drunk, hath made me bold." When she hears a sudden noise, she is on edge and jumpy. Is she regretting anything now? Macbeth then speaks to her.

  2. "At the end of the play Malcolm refers to Macbeth and Lady Macbeth as ...

    Even from the first time Macbeth meets them he seems to respect them and believe every word they say. Although the witches never told Macbeth to murder Duncan, they told him if Duncan was dead he would be king, using similar arts of persuasion to Lady Macbeth.

  1. Analyse the Macbeth's marriage during the play, and explain why and how it changed

    She feels the need to be cleansed of her sins. Shakespeare uses a metaphor to show Lady Macbeth's wish to be cleansed- "Out damned spot! Out, I say! One, two; why then 'Tis time to do't." She wishes to rid her conscience of the murder, something which she previously thought would not be on her conscience.

  2. How is Macbeth persuaded to kill Duncan: Is his wife entirely to blame?

    "honoured me of late," and he does not want to jeopardize the enviable position that he has climbed towards. He tries to be clever and uses a metaphor, comparing new clothes with his prestigious current position, which he says, "Would be worn in their newest gloss, not cast aside so soon."

  1. How is Macbeth persuaded to kill Duncan: Is his wife entirely to blame?

    And Macbeth immediately follows this up with "My dearest love," to complete the ten syllables. This shows Macbeth trying to cut off Lady Macbeth from her speech in which she is trying to persuade him. Further evidence of Macbeth not really wanting to listen to his wife in case she

  2. Was this your judgement of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth? "The dead butcher and his ...

    He was extremely shocked that the witches thought that he would get that far up the ladder and become King. The witches speech shows how Shakespeare has created a mood of terror and unearthly evil, almost immediately in the play.

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