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How Far Do You Agree With Malcolms Assessment of Macbeth as a Butcher and of Lady Macbeth as a Fiend-like Queen?

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Introduction

How Far Do You Agree With Malcolm's Assessment of Macbeth as a 'Butcher' and of Lady Macbeth as a 'Fiend-like Queen'? At the end of William Shakespeare's play 'Macbeth', Malcolm the newly crowned king of Scotland states that Macbeth the 'butcher' and the 'fiend-like queen', Lady Macbeth, are dead, their tyranny gone with them. In the course of the play Macbeth progresses from a nobleman of Scotland to a tyrannical leader. While Lady Macbeth progresses from a 'fiend-like queen' to a woman who is reconciling yet deranged and suicidal. Macbeth is depicted as a butcher, but he was not always so. Infact at the beginning of the play he was a Scottish nobleman who fought for his king and country. A wounded captain on the battlefield, Act 1 Scene 2 line 16, told of Macbeth "For brave Macbeth-well he deserves that name....like valour's minion he carved out his passage." But once he stumbled across the witches he changed. He begins to fathom the possibility that he may be king. He demands more from the three witches. "Stay you imperfect speakers. Tell me more." His wife reads the letter that she has been sent from Macbeth and persuades him to kill Duncan. ...read more.

Middle

This shows that he feels guilty about what he has done. "That when the brains were out, the man would die, and there an end....But now they rise again with twenty mortal murders on their crowns." After the banquet in Scene 5, Macbeth seeks out the witches, where he learns that he will now be defeated till "Great Birnam wood to high Dunsinane hill" Macbeth is filled with confidence by this. Macbeth believes that he is undefeatable. But he demands to know more of the future. A procession of Banquo's family appears. This makes Macbeth more cautious about what he does, and this is probably what leads him to the massacre at the Macduff family castle. This is the biggest act of 'butchery' in the play. Scotland would be in dark times at the rule of Macbeth if people are willing to kill for a tyrant. Act 5 Scene 5, Macbeth feels no fear and tells his men to "Hang out our banners on the outward walls...Ours castle's strength will laugh a siege to scorn." Macbeth defies the siege and wants to stand his ground and face his enemies. After Macbeth has commanded his men what to do, he is told that his wife is dead. ...read more.

Conclusion

Stand not upon the order of your going but go at once." At this point of the play, Macbeth is more in control of himself and orders the murder of Banquo with no help from his wife. Lady Macbeth still has the wit to lie to the guest at the banquet using her deception yet again to great effect. In Act 5 Scene 1, Lady Macbeth is seen sleepwalking-which in itself for a woman who has never sleepwalked before is evidence of a psychological problem. She is also seen trying to wash imaginary blood from her hands. "Out damned spot! Out I say!" She repeats her speech from the nights of Duncan's death. "To bed to bed there's knocking at the gate" All of these are signs of psychological trauma. In her case she has a heavy heart, full of guilt. Shakespeare never mentioned how Lady Macbeth comes to face her sins. Macbeth hears woman's cries and is told. "My lord the queen is dead." So to some extent Malcolm was right. Macbeth, even though once loyal 6to the king, did order many people to their death. Also Scotland at the time would have been in utter chaos under his rule. Lady Macbeth was throughout the play a fiend-like queen because with her sly tongue, she started the 'epidemic'. In my opinion the description is just. ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 ...read more.

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