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

How far does Macbeth deserve the title "Butcher"?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Ann-Marie Ahola How far does Macbeth deserve the title "Butcher"? When deciding whether or not Macbeth is deserving of the title "butcher" it is a hard decision. There were many contributions by other characters which influenced Macbeth's actions: such as Duncan crowning Malcolm as his successor and giving the title Thane of Cawdor to Macbeth making in which the last one was a traitor: Banquo who kept his suspicions to himself; and Macbeth and Donalbain who fled. Lady Macbeth was the one who encouraged Macbeth to kill Duncan, giving him the confidence and courage to do the deed. The witch's' gave Macbeth the idea in the first place that he was to become king with their prophesies. The order in which I will analyse the characters which contributed to Macbeth's actions, are the least influential characters to the most influential characters. I must also take into consideration the time period in which Macbeth lived in to make my decision whether Macbeth deserves the title "butcher". During the time period in which Shakespeare set Macbeth, society in the 11th Century was very different from what it is today. The society in which Macbeth had lived in was very brutal, revolving around violence, as shown by Shakespeare in his play as executions would be a form torture. Little boys in that time period wanted to be seen as great warriors such as Macbeth, but in order to be one you would have to kill many men in battle. In the time period Macbeth lived in the more men you killed the more honored you became and Shakespeare shows the audience this by making Macbeth being seen as a great warrior during his time due to all the men he'd "slain" in the battlefield. When Shakespeare wrote the play he had to please James I, who was king at the time as he was his royal play right. ...read more.

Middle

It served to put the King's guards to sleep as they no longer had a watchful eye in order to protect Duncan from the dreadful deed that would have to take place in front of them without them knowing. Not only that but also when the lords find Duncan no longer lives and they announce the dreadful news, Lady Macbeth plays the role of a good actress as she pretends she doesn't know a thing: "Woe, alas! What, in our house?" When the lords question Macbeth about the murder of king Duncan, Lady Macbeth suddenly faints. Whether this faint was on purpose or not, it diverts all the attention that was on Macbeth onto Lady Macbeth. Lady Macbeth's plan worked well, as there is no suspicion that has fallen upon them, for the death of King Duncan has fallen upon others, such as the guards. The three "hags" are a representation of trouble and evil, being "withered" and "wild" in their attire. They influenced Macbeth in the process of becoming a butcher with their prophecies. Before Macbeth even knows anything about the witch's, they plan "to meet with Macbeth" to try tempt him with their riddles and use him as a tool towards the destruction of the natural world order. They knew Macbeth's weakness, unlike Banquo who is good and could resist the witch's prophecies. They are malicious and crude in their nature and seek to cause chaos, mischief and misery in the world because they see evil as good, and good as evil "Fair is foul, and foul is fair". Whenever the witch's are present they bring along their omens of evil such as thunder, lightning and rain. Just before the witch's are about to meet Macbeth a witch chants " A drum, a drum! Macbeth doth come". This is very portentous and a warning that bad things are to come. The witch's tell Macbeth about his future with their prophecies. ...read more.

Conclusion

Macbeth is now misleading his wife as she knows nothing. In order for Macbeth to get the murderers to kill Banquo and Fleance he lies to them by telling them it was Banquo "which held you so under fortune". Macbeth is glad about Banquo's violent death. Macbeth is starting to talk like the witch's as he uses inverted meanings such as "Banquo's safe?" after being killed. By now Macbeth is able to hide anything and is a good liar as he pretends to miss Banquo and blames him for not attending, when Macbeth is the reason he isn't there. Macbeth thinks that he's done so many bad things that it's to late to stop and isn't giving up as "We are yet but young in deed." Macbeth by this point has involved himself with evil "I conjure you" and is now evil himself and is doomed with the title "butcher". Macbeth has resorted to killing innocent women and children "Each new mourn, new widows howl, new orphans cry, new sorrows strike heaven on the face". Macbeth now resides to act without delay and will kill without hesitating: "From this moment firstlings of my heart shall be firstlings of my hand." When Macbeth decides to attempt and kill Macduff, he targets his family who haven't done anything wrong and are undeserving of their fate. Macbeth's evil and cruelty shows through the suffering throughout the country of Scotland. Lady Macbeth feels guilty as she feels she started Macbeth on his evil path to destruction but didn't know about any of her husband's actions after the murder of Duncan. Macbeth has now become a "tyrant" and his "murders sticking on his hands". Macbeth is determined to fight to the end till his "bones" and "flesh be hacked". As he now knows that he is a butcher and no longer has a conscious, as when he finds out he was lied to by the witch's, he'd rather "die with the harness on our back". Macbeth wants to inflict as much pain on others before he dies, in which he fails to do so. When deciding ...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. In the beginning of the play Macbeth is portrayed as a loyal, valiant warrior ...

    Heaven was of massive impotance in the days when this play was written, and to not go there because of sin, made sinning even more forbidden than it is today. Macbeth thinks that "bloody instructions" will "return to plague the inventor" and make hime worse off than he is now.

  2. How does Shakespeare Present the Supernatural in Macbeth?

    Shakespeare's language conveys that Macbeth is making his final preparations towards the murder. He is now associated with witchcraft, which rules in the night and celebrates evil.

  1. 'Macbeth' gives us a classic example of the literary definition of a 'tragic hero'. ...

    He is losing all the humanity that he ever had inside of him. He is also worried about Macduff, as evinced in these lines: For mine own good All causes shall give way: I am in blood Stepp'd in so far, that, should I wade no more, Returning were as tedious as go o'er.

  2. To what extent is Macbeth wholly responsible for his ruin, which destroys not only ...

    Thanes and others high up on the political ladder were particularly under threat. The dramatic imagery used throughout the play shows the huge destruction (V, v). Macbeth's strive for power affects every aspect of his life and his once strong motivation eventually led to his destruction.

  1. Shakespeare's use of the Supernatural in Macbeth

    'All hail Macbeth, hail to thee, Thane of Cawdor!' 'All hail Macbeth, that shalt be King hereafter!' What the witches have said here is very extraordinary. The first line, which expresses Macbeth's current title, is extraordinary as one would not normally know a mans full name, probably not that if

  2. Does Macbeth Deserve His Fate?

    This all goes to show how Macbeth had changed. If Macbeth was on his own with nobody to influence him otherwise, would he have committed these crimes? You may argue no. He was a very nice man to begin with.

  1. Lady MacBeth - Character Assessment

    honoured me of late...Which would be worn in its newest gloss, not cast aside so soon'. 3 Lady MacBeth is somewhat taken aback - staggered by her husbands' decision. Here she thought she had the cat in the bag, her husband was prepared to take this amazing opportunity to grasp kingship.

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

    Similarly, Lady Macbeth is trying to clear her conscience for the murder that she intends to do by persuading herself to believe that she wouldn't have been able to do it without the evil spirits filling her. Also, when she is attempting to put Macbeth under her influence when they

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