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

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?

Extracts from this document...


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.


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.


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.

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. At the end of the play, Malcolm calls Macbeth a butcher and Lady Macbeth ...

    Macbeth is however a strong character and is fully aware of the good he has rejected. Macbeth is a fascinating character because he is much more that a "bloody tyrant." It is possible for the audience to feel repelled by the evil in Macbeth at the same time to feel

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

    He wants to give up kingship, say sorry and admit to doing everything wrong but it doesn't work like that. After Banquo is killed he sees his ghost at a dinner party and starts talking to it, Lady Macbeth says that he must be ill and hurries everyone out.

  1. There are two arguments as to whether Lady Macbeth is a fiend or a ...

    Lady Macbeth's conscience appears in private, whereas Macbeth's emerges at a public banquet. This expresses the roles of men and women in Shakespeare's day. Lady Macbeth returns to the times when her and Macbeth were closest, planning the murder together, and recounts conversations had.

  2. "This butcher and his fiend like queen"

    the play he was a warrior hero, whose fame o the battlefield wins him great honour from the king. He was a "Valiant cousin! Worthy gentleman," A remark made by the former king whom Macbeth assassinated. Macbeth is portrayed as a brave soldier.

  1. This dead butcher and his fiend-like queen. To what extent do you agree with ...

    By killing King Duncan, Lady Macbeth shows a direct rejection of God as in this period the King was thought to be God's representative on Earth. She is one of the strongest characters in this play and is exceptional at plotting and scheming.

  2. To what extent do you agree with Malcolm's description of Lady Macbeth as a ...

    This relationship is not typical of Shakespeare's time when many marriages were arranged, it is more cemented in love and both have a great amount of trust for each other. We learn more about her in her analysis of Macbeth's Character in her lively soliloquy.

  1. At the end of the play Malcolm refers to this dead butcher and his ...

    Furthermore someone who has a very positive, and unbutcher like opinion of Macbeth is King Duncan. He describes Macbeth as "valiant" and "peerless" suggesting that he is unmatchable to anyone else. This is a very high opinion for a king to have of someone and shows that Macbeth has been a very good loyal Warrior in the past.

  2. Macbeth the Dead Butcher and His Fiend Like Queen

    Also, in attempt to be more godlike, Lady Macbeth betrays her own humanity, womanhood. She too calls on evil force and asks, " ... unsex me here, and fill me from the crown to the toe topfull of direst cruelty!

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