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

Macbeth, the Dead Butcher and his Fiend-Like Queen.

Extracts from this document...


Macbeth, the Dead Butcher and his Fiend-Like Queen In the beginning of Macbeth, Macbeth is a courageous and loyal character who fights for his King in order to protect him. He and his wife have an ambition to become King and Queen. He is corrupted by the witches prophecies and the strong power of Lady Macbeth as she can easily influence him. She says things like 'screw your courage to the sticking place and we will not fail.' It is her strength first motivates him but after he kills Duncan he proceeds with his own bad ways motivating him, his mind is full of scorpions. He talks about 'good things of the day' that are overcome by 'night's black agents', as Banquo's murder occurs in the 'last streaks of the day,' it shows that Macbeth is being plunged into more evil. Macbeth is well respected and praised in the beginning, he is said to be 'brave Macbeth-well he deserves that name.' Duncan believes him worthy to receive the 'Thane of Cawdor' title helps spark the ambition so it grows. Also, Lady Macbeth, being a loyal wife believes her husband deserves to be King, but thinks he is too good to do anything about it. ...read more.


Thou wouldst be great: art not without ambition, but without the illness should attend it.' Her determined attitude shows her confidence in her words, this is what makes Macbeth act on. As you think she cannot be human she shows a little bit of humanity when she almost acts out the killing of Duncan herself but cannot as he resembles her "father as he slept." As she is in control at the beginning it shows she has not really realised the full effect of what she has done and therefore oblivious. She shows how together she is when the murder is discovered. Macbeth acts far too open and obvious but her quick thinking by fainting takes his limelight away. He has a conscience throughout the whole play, this is shown when he has hallucinations of the dagger and his fear of when Banquo's ghost appears to him. He is very insecure and shows this when he has Banquo and Lady Macduff's children killed. His insecurity is again shown when he kills the guards so no one might remember him being there the night before. The play shows he is very superstitious which brings out his evil side as he believes the witches which are associated with evil meaning that Macbeth has an evil side. ...read more.


Over the play the Lady Macbeth and Macbeth swap characters. Macbeth is mentally weak yet Lady Macbeth is mentally strong. This changes. At first Lady Macbeth is in control and can make Macbeth catch evil like the flu as she says "The illness should attend it." Macbeth has a conscience until the middle of the play when he becomes uncontrollable whereas Lady Macbeth does not until the middle. It may be right to call Macbeth and Lady Macbeth, 'The Dead Butcher and his Fiend-Like Queen' but at the beginning they were normal respected people with an ambition. They were maybe not so evil after all as Macbeth still needed to be pushed to kill Duncan and Lady Macbeth needed to take away her femininity. By the attempted kindness of sparing Macduff his life, and the courage he shows by fighting to his death, we see that Macbeth is not a butcher, but a good man with the tragic flaw of ambition. It is clear by their behaviour that Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are not evil. Lady Macbeth's obvious suffering and regret, shown by her sleepwalking and suicide, and Macbeth's fighting to his death, like the fearless soldier in the first Act, prove that Malcolm's describing them as "this dead butcher and his fiend-like queen" is unfair and inaccurate. ...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. Marked by a teacher

    "this dead butcher, and his fiend-like queen". Are these words by Malcolm an appropriate ...

    4 star(s)

    King Duncan says that he loves Macbeth in Act 1 Scene 6. King Duncan asked Lady Macbeth, "Conduct me to mine host, we love him highly," King Duncan is showing how grateful he is at Macbeth for allowing him to stay at their home.

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

    As seen in the words, "Will all great Neptune's ocean wash this blood clean from my hand?" This shows that Macbeth is not sure that all the oceans in the world could ever clean the blood off his hands and keeps him clean from this bloody deed he has committed.

  1. "This dead butcher and his fiend-like Queen" Is this a fair assessment of Macbeth ...

    Scene 7 shows Macbeth having second thoughts about the murders, but Lady Macbeth taunts and insults him, "Was the hope drunk/...Hath it slept since?" and shows him her strength by telling him that if she'd promised him, then she would have dashed the brains of her baby out.

  2. "This butcher and his fiend like queen"

    Macbeth as, the dominant, commanding wife with an ambition to be queen bigger that Macbeth's ambition of being King. Or the manipulative wife, whose ambition is just as big as Macbeth. The witches may also have played apart in Macbeth's downfall.

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

    this scene we see her devilish self breaking down to show an inner humanity that the audience never knew Lady Macbeth possessed. In a way this contradicts Malcolm's description of Lady Macbeth as a 'fiend-like queen'. Towards the end, we see that Lady Macbeth is constantly haunted by the guilt of regicide.

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

    She keeps doing all this until he gives the slightest waver of giving in"If we should fail?" at which point she pounces on him and makes it seem incredulous that there is any chance of them failing "we fail?!" Then to top it of she tells him exactly what they

  1. "This dead butcher and his fiend-like queen"Is this a fair assessment of Macbeth and ...

    She starts taunting him and makes him think that he is a coward; "Was the hope drunk/ Wherein you dressed yourself? Hath it slept since?/Wouldst thou have that/ Which thou esteem'st the ornament of life,/ And live a coward in thine own esteem,/ Like the poor cat I'th'adage?"(I.vii.35-44)

  2. How far does Macbeth deserve the title "Butcher"?

    Throughout the play of 'Macbeth' Shakespeare relates his play to what was going on at the time. By using this play as a source of evidence and my own knowledge I am able to conclude that they lived in a very harsh and brutal society where innocent people weren't put on trial but hanged by accusations.

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