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In his closing speech, Malcolm refers to Macbeth and Lady Macbeth as 'This dead Butcher and his fiend like queen' How far do you agree with his assessment of their characters?

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Introduction

English coursework In his closing speech, Malcolm refers to Macbeth and Lady Macbeth as 'This dead Butcher and his fiend like queen' How far do you agree with his assessment of their characters? Macbeth is a play written by William Shakespeare about a soldier being loyal to King Duncan who then becomes a murderer. On the other hand his wife, Lady Macbeth is a character that calls upon evil spirits to take away her femininity so she can help her husband slay King Duncan in order to become queen. One view is that Macbeth was a 'dead butcher and his wife a fiend like queen'. Alternatively this interpretation is open to judgement and I will attempt to investigate further and find out how true this statement is. At the beginning, Macbeth is seen as a devoted soldier to the King; however this claim becomes more doubtful as I read further on in the play. This is shown when Macbeth 'Unseamed' Macdonald from 'The navel to the chaps'. Although Macdonald was the enemy, it is the manner of the brutal killing conducted by Macbeth that makes me question if he can be labelled a butcher or not. When Macbeth was first introduced to the witches, he was with Banquo and did not realise at this point their purpose or what activities they were involved in. ...read more.

Middle

to kill them so they cannot become kings after Macbeth and that he desired to slay the innocent for his own needs. This is an act of butchery, the same method a butcher uses to slaughter an animal for its own needs; similarly Macbeth commits the same act. Macbeth killed Macduff's family out of spite without any acceptable reason. The main reason he had this done was due to the actions of Macduff. This is also an act of butchery due to Macduff fleeing to England so that he could raise a large army to fight Macbeth. Macduff was very suspicious of Macbeth from the start after the death of Duncan. Macbeth's lack of time is demonstrated when he states: 'From this moment/They very firstling of my heart shall be/The firstling of my hand' Macduff's family was murdered as Macbeth was unable to control his anger; therefore he had no motive of doing such an act. Macbeth says: 'For mine own good,/All causes shall give way. I am in blood/Stepped in so far that should what I wade no more,/Returning were as tedious as go o'er.' This shows that Macbeth realises that he is obsessed with killing others and he cannot find a way of stopping himself from doing so. ...read more.

Conclusion

She quickly uses strong, effective words to make Macbeth change his mind by saying the following: 'I have given suck, and know/How tender 'tis to love the babe that milks me:/ would, while it was smiling in my face,/Have pluck'd my nipple from his boneless gums,/And dash'd the brains out, had I so sworn as you/Have done to this.' Primarily, Lady Macbeth had to use all her power to convince Macbeth to murder. Now he commits it without discussing it with her. It is becoming extremely easy for him. Macbeth may have also been saying some of his angry words at her. His fury and menace would really be frightening, especially as earlier in the play she thinks he would be too mild to kill the king in the first place. CONCLUSION All of the above evidence leads me to agree with Malcolm's statement. The reason why I believe this to be true is because of all the demonic, butchery actions which Macbeth had carried out. There were no limits in his quest to become king. One by one, he removed all those in his path through brutal murder. His actions are equivalent to those of a butcher, by slaughtering humans as if they were animals. Lady Macbeth was the source behind the killing. She provoked him to commit the murders. ...read more.

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