• 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 According to Aristotle, the tragedy by definition is constituted of certain structures. Of all these requirements, the most critical one is a tragic hero. Tragic hero by definition must possess one critical tragic flaw. Likewise, Shakespeare's famous tragedy Macbeth possesses the tragic heroes, Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are both tragic heroes, because they share one tragic flaw; ambition. In the last scene of the play, Malcolm refers to Macbeth and Lady Macbeth as "this dead butcher and his fiendlike queen." However, Malcolm's descriptions of Macbeth and his wife are not adequate, because Malcolm does not realize that their brutalities are due to their tragic flaw. Therefore, Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are not "a butcher and fiendlike queen" but rather tragic heroes, for they attempt to be god-like, have moments of recognition, and ultimately fail. By virtue of their ambition, Macbeth and Lady Macbeth aspire to control the divine privilege, changing the predestined fate of kingship. From the very beginning of the play, Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are surely ambitious figures but somewhat latent ones. Macbeth's startled reaction to witches' prophecies about him becoming a king is odd and suspicious. ...read more.


Despite their recognition of misdeed, Macbeth and Lady Macbeth, blinded by their ambition, decide to pursue their unjust and depraved goal. All the tragic heroes are bound to have their moments of recognition. Likewise, both Macbeth and Lady Macbeth have their moments of recognition. However, they are so obsessed with achieving their ambitious goal that they do not stop when they should. Macbeth realizes that he has no reason or right whatsoever to kill the virtuous king Duncan. In his soliloquy, he goes over all the reasons why he should not kill Duncan: "First, as I am his kinsman and his subject, strong both against the deed; then, as his host, who should against his murderer shut the door, not bear the knife myself. Besides, this Duncan hath borne his faculties so meek, hath been so clear in his great office, that his virtues will plead like angels, trumpet-tongued, against the deep damnation of his taking-off." However, all these numbers of reasons to not kill Duncan are outweighed with Macbeth's grandiose ambition as he cites so: " I have no spur to prick the sides of my intent, but only vaulting ambition, which o'erlaps itself and falls on the other." ...read more.


Eventually, Lady Macbeth becomes insane, and commits a violent suicide. Having lost his wife, friends, honor, and respect, Macbeth no longer sees any meaning of life. He forlornly regrets his killing of Duncan, because now he realizes that his ambition has lost him all the accomplishments he has ever wished to possess. Nevertheless, it is too late to regret; therefore, Macbeth is killed by vengeful Macduff in the last battle. Finally, catharsis is achieved: the wrongdoers are punished, Macduff has performed his revenge, Malcolm regains his rightful claim to the throne of Scotland, and normalcy is achieved. Tragedy is tragic because of the magnificent heroes with such capabilities who become failures due to their one tragic flaw. In the play Macbeth, the most respected, honorable, and intrepid figure Macbeth trips into his downfall due to his tragic flaw, obsessive ambition. Also, the unusually strong and unique woman of the time, Lady Macbeth, takes the same path as her husband because of her excessive ambition. It is rather sympathetic that these great figures are bound to fail due to their one tragic flaw. If Malcolm had known of their unfortunate lives and tragic flaw, he would not have described Macbeth and Lady Macbeth as "the butcher and fiendlike queen"; rather, he would have acknowledged them as the true tragic heroes. ...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)

    He calls her this because she has invited King Duncan to stay at their home and he praises her by saying she is "Fair" and "noble" Just before Macbeth and Lady Macbeth kill King Duncan, Lady Macbeth remarks, "Had he not resembled My father as he slept, I had done't."

  2. "This dead butcher and his fiend like queen" How far do you agree with ...

    In the days of Shakespeare the divine right of succession was considered holy and that if anyone disrupts it, it is an act against God. Meanwhile Lady Macbeth knows that Macbeth's conscience and indecision will hold him back firstly from carrying out the deed and secondly from his ambitions.

  1. Macbeth: Tragic Hero or Dead Butcher?

    We know this because if Macbeth weren't so lost in his thoughts "My dull brain was wrought with things forgotten," then he would not think about his ambition and would just dismiss the witches as "the instruments of darkness," as Banquo does.

  2. "A dead butcher and his fiend-like queen". Are these accurate statements to make about ...

    is the army that Macduff, Malcom and King Edward of England create. King Edward is thought as a good and healing King. A doctor describes that, "at his touch, Such sanctity hath heaven given his hand, They presently amend". This is a contrast to the King of Scotland, Macbeth, as

  1. At the end of the play Malcolm calls lady Macbeth a fiend like queen. ...

    on her before Macbeth slips his tongue and says something that he and Lady Macbeth would later regret. This second reason seems more believable looking back on Lady Macbeths past, but at the current point of the story both Lady Macbeth and Macbeths personalities are changing which makes it hard

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

    babe that milks me: I would, while it was smiling in my face, Have plucked my nipple from his boneless gums And dashed the brains out, had I so sworn. This is a very powerful and fiendlike speech that she uses to make Macbeth feel guilty even though he never actually promised to kill Duncan.

  1. Was this your judgement of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth? "The dead butcher and his ...

    He was extremely shocked that the witches thought that he would get that far up the ladder and become King. The witches speech shows how Shakespeare has created a mood of terror and unearthly evil, almost immediately in the play.

  2. "This Dead Butcher and his fiend-like queen." With close reference to the play discuss ...

    of Glamis, secondly, he has just been appointed as Thane of Cawdor, but the last prophecy confuses Macbeth, he wants to find out more, "tell me more...Speak, I charge you." He becomes very keen and excited by the witches but then they vanish and Macbeth thinks to himself that had

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