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Malcolm refers to Lady Macbeth as a

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Introduction

Felix Davey Malcolm refers to Lady Macbeth as a "fiend-like Queen Do you agree with this statement? To answer this question I am going to study and analyse the text thoroughly to determine whether I agree or disagree with Malcolm's statement. I will do this by looking at both sides of the argument and by concluding with my own opinion based on the evidence I will present. Another word for fiend is monster. A monster is generally considered to be inhuman and Lady Macbeth does show inhuman qualities throughout the play but towards the end of the play she changes. When she first enters the play in act one scene five, where she reads a letter from Macbeth, he refers to her as his- "Dearest partner of greatness". For women in medieval, eleventh century Scotland this would have been very uncharacteristic: a women's place would have been in the home and generally they wouldn't have had political opinions or ambitions and would not have been equal to men. Even when the play was written in the eighteen hundreds, women were viewed as inferior to men. The role of a woman is epitomised in Lady Macduff. She is soft, domestic, child bearing and feminine. ...read more.

Middle

This is a horrible thing to do to Macbeth and in effect it puts a seal on the audience's perceptions of her (she is evil and she will stop at nothing). She is very fiend like her in the sly way she gets rid Macbeth's concerns and guilt. What she meant by killing her child like this was to show her strength of conviction and willingness to carry out her word "had I so sworn to you (Macbeth)". It appears to have worked, and Macbeth falters saying, (indicating a change of heart) " If we should fail?" Lady Macbeth has now re-engaged him, and Macbeth is curious again. She shows her strength of conviction by almost mocking him in saying "We will fail?", "Screw your courage to the sticking place - and we'll not fail". Believing she now has Macbeth onboard she now continues with the plan. She will make Duncan's guards' drunk and she and Macbeth will commit the murder, leaving the guards to take the blame for it. The audience cannot help but realise that the plan is ruthless and cowardly. Lady Macbeth has thought this through thoroughly and has made her plan as foolproof as possible. She has reconfirmed Macbeth's original intentions, but in the back of his mind Macbeth will still know that what he is doing is wrong. ...read more.

Conclusion

This is exactly how a Queen would be expected to welcome someone, and is not how you would expect a murderess to greet someone. In conclusion I do agree with Malcolm's statement because Lady Macbeth shows great evil and little remorse throughout the play, it is only towards the end of the play that she starts to develop human qualities and ceases to be a monster but by then it is much to late. Shakespeare wanted us to sympathise with her. The brilliant phrase "look like the innocent flower, be the serpent under it" shows us her fiend-like tendencies and slyness. In Roman Polanski's film of the play Macbeth, he takes the text literally and has Lady Macbeth played by an innocent flower (soft and beautiful), which is an interesting way to perceive the play as most productions have a dark evil actress playing the character of Lady Macbeth. Although towards the end of the play when her possible schizophrenia emerges, we discover she is living two lives, that she isn't completely ruthless and she does show some guilt just in strange ways. However overall I do agree with Malcolm's statement that Lady Macbeth is a "fiend-like Queen", in the way she went about becoming Queen and in the way she ruled, even if it was only for a brief period. ...read more.

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