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

Malcolm calls Macbeth a

Extracts from this document...


Malcolm calls Macbeth a "Dead Butcher". Can he possibly be a tragic hero? Macbeth is an intriguing story of witchcraft, murder and retribution that can also be seen as a study in the philosophy and psychology of evil. Shakespeare sees deliberately to have drained colour away from some parts of his composition in order to concentrate attention on Macbeth and His wife. As Stanley Wells writes "It is Macbeth's neurotic self absorption, his fear, his anger and his despair, along with his wife's steely determination, her invoking of the powers of evil" that are the main focus of his attention. Malcolm calls Macbeth a "dead butcher for the simple reason that he is guilty of murdering Duncan, and ordering the deaths of Banquo, Lady Macduff and her sons. Shakespeare allows the audience into the mind of Macbeth, in doing so the audience have a clear idea of Macbeth's motives and intentions. The audience is allowed to witness Macbeth's conscience that will eventually destroy him. Soliloquies are a vital factor in doing this. ...read more.


This is another example of Macbeth's insecure state of mind, "a dagger of the mind, a false creation". At this point Macbeth recognises himself that he has a "heat-opress´┐Żd brain". In any case, the murder of Duncan takes place, Macbeth wins the war against his conscience on this occasion, but feels instant remorse, claiming "to know my deed, 'twere best not to know myself". On the contrary Lady Macbeth's reaction to seeing the blood stained knife is simply "a little water clears us of this deed". Macbeth acknowledges that Duncan was a good, enormously well respected and magisterial king, and he will be a very hard act to follow, "here lay day Duncan, his silver skin laced with golden blood". In fact Macbeth envies the deceased Duncan, realising that Duncan has no more responsibilities, and Duncan now longer has to worry about the things Macbeth now worries about, "Duncann in his grace. After life's fitful fever, he sleeps well". It is Lady Macbeth's persuasion that is the key factor, similar to later in the play where Macbeth is persuading the murderers that Banquo is their enemy. ...read more.


After this event, I as a reader, find it very difficult to sympathise with Macbeth, for the simple fact that Lady Macduff and her children are innocent victims of Macbeth's fury, and want for immune power. At the end of the play, with his castle under attack and his whole world caving in on him, Macbeth has some of his definitive moments in the play. He realises that his life is "a tale told by an idiot, signifying nothing". He also realises that he will only ever have "mouth honour", and will never gain the respect that his preconception of king implied. In my opinion Macbeth doesn't comply with the typical virtues of a tragic hero. I think the contrasting characters played by Macduff and and his wife, highlight the evil characteristics of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth, and this makes it more difficult for them to be accepted by the audience or reader. But I don't believe that Macbeth is totally evil, for the simple fact that if he was, he would never have shown any remorse. ...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
  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work