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Malcolm described Macbeth and Lady Macbeth As ‘this dead butcher and his fiend like queen’ How far do you agree with this statement?

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Introduction

21st March '02' H.W Malcolm described Macbeth and Lady Macbeth As 'this dead butcher and his fiend like queen' How far do you agree with this statement? Malcolm made the remark "This dead like butcher and his fiend like queen", when he was crowned king after Macbeths reign of absolute terror. I am going to investigate whether or not this statement is reliable, and whether or not Macbeth really is a butcher and Lady Macbeth really is a Fiend like queen. In a lot of ways Macbeth would fit the description of being a "butcher". This is because he had taken the lives of many people, some of which were close associates of Macbeth. He murdered Duncan, the king, in order to gain the throne. He also murdered Banquo who was his best friend. He murdered Banquo because of two reasons, one was because of the witches prophecies of Banquo's son being king. And secondly there is a sense that Banquo suspects Macbeth of the murder of the king. And acting on his fear Macbeth slaughtered Lady Macduff and her son, due to another one of the witch's prophecies, "Beware of the thane of fife". ...read more.

Middle

Is this Macbeths conscience creeping up on him? I believe so and also I believe that a "butcher" would not have a conscience at all, if they wanted to carry a murder out. Macbeth reflects back on what he has done when he says, "Of all men, I have avoided thee but get thee back my soul is too much charged with blood of thine already" Macbeth does not want to carry on being a murderer and he has gone too far, is this the actions of a true butcher? It is as though Macbeth's normal conscience has been retained and that he does not want to carry on the way he is. This shows that he is not completely evil. Although Malcolm describes Macbeth as a butcher, I think Macbeth was not purely a butcher. Macbeth was lost in his mind and the witch's prophecies, as well as his own personal ambition. Macbeth's boldness and impression of personal invincibility (as prophesised by the witches) mark him out as a deadly and powerful man. Lady Macbeth is often described as a very dominating wife, who pushes her husband (Macbeth) ...read more.

Conclusion

She was crushed by the guilt of taking part in the murder of Duncan, and therefore made herself suffer for it by eventually committing suicide, and becoming a mere shadow of her former self. Lady Macbeth was not purely evil though because if she had really desperately wanted to become queen, she would of found the courage to kill king Duncan. But instead she makes up a petty excuse "Had he not looked like my father, as he slept, I had done't". Also Lady Macbeth could not be as evil and "fiend like" as Malcolm made out, because she only started to have thoughts about becoming the queen, after Macbeth had sent her the letter. I think that all Lady Macbeth did was help Macbeth carry out his own dreams, in order to gain something for herself. This is not absolutely evil, but it can be interpreted so. Also Lady Macbeth finally goes mad because of the guilt, this is not the action of a "fiend". The remarks that Malcolm made may have truth in them, but not entire truth. I think that they did not mean to become totally evil when they started, and they did not wish to kill as many people as they did, but they still could of stopped it. ...read more.

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