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In the concluding scene of Macbeth, Malcolm refers to Macbeth and Lady Macbeth as "This dead butcher and his fiend - like queen." To what extent do you agree with this statement?

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Introduction

In the concluding scene of Macbeth, Malcolm refers to Macbeth and Lady Macbeth as "This dead butcher and his fiend - like queen." To what extent do you agree with this statement? Malcolm is someone who, understandably, has a great hatred towards Macbeth and his wife because he hears rumours about their deeds, making him utter this quote. He is told that they may have possibly killed his father, King Duncan. The words used by the Prince of Cumberland are said at the end of the play when being crowned the new King of Scotland after the death of Macbeth. The quote uses very strong language such as, "dead butcher" and "fiend-like". These words have strong meaning and this will be soon discovered. Malcolm relates a butcher, someone who kills unthinkingly and ruthlessly, to Macbeth. However, Macbeth was not always condemned when committing a murder. At the very beginning of the play, he is applauded for being so brave in battle and for acting the way he did. Macbeth becomes increasingly violent through the play and commits more and more murders as it progresses. He kills not only King Duncan, but later on he appoints people to murder Banquo and he also kills Macduff's wife and all his "pretty ones". ...read more.

Middle

When meeting Macduff, he realises the witches have been misleading and Macbeth describes them as "juggling fiends" and is now determined to prove the witches wrong in their prophesies. It is mainly because of the witches that we felt for Macbeth in the first place as the main reason he was performing these murders was because of what the witches foretold. It is Macduff's final taunt that pushes Macbeth to his fight to death. This is evidence that Macbeth's character needs to be constantly proving itself, which he identifies as being 'manly'. Macbeth is physically strong, however emotionally he proves weak and cowardly. Being a coward is quite ironic because this shows the audience that his character is having to compromise. We not only saw this in the final scene with Macduff but also when he agrees to murder King Duncan. This was not only a treacherous act but also a cowardly one. When analysing Macbeth, the changes he has made with his personality should be considered. He begins as a god-like hero, with a firm, strong and loyal character but soon develops into a "tyrant" because he has allowed his ambitions to suppress his good qualities. ...read more.

Conclusion

Therefore, it is ironic that Macduff on first meeting Lady Macbeth refers to her as a "gentle lady" and one too sensitive to even hear the word 'murder', but by the end of the play she is recognised for what she wanted to appear, a "fiend - like queen", a strong woman. Overall, it is clearly reasonable why Malcolm used these words to describe Macbeth and Lady Macbeth as he realises that it was they who killed his father at the beginning of the tragedy, which then led on to so many other murders. However, as an audience we can sympathise with the characters as we realise it is not them directly, who perform such horrific deeds. We realise Macbeth is doing it as he feels compelled to by Lady Macbeth and then feels that to gain his desire of being King he has to murder others. This fact cannot be excused and for that reason we too, also believe he has behaved similarly to a butcher, but not as ruthless. Although Lady Macbeth appears strong, ruthless and evil, her true character is revealed during her sleep. She is really weak and is being tortured by the murders that have been committed. Macbeth 1 Emma Rubakumar ...read more.

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