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Malcolm refers to Macbeth as "this butcher". To what extent do you agree with this description of him?

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Malcolm refers to Macbeth as "this butcher". To what extent do you agree with this description of him? This essay will explore the character of Macbeth. It will take into consideration his thoughts and feelings, his actions during the play and how the other characters perceive him. It will also look into how Macbeth changes through the course of the play. Near the beginning, the Captain refers to "brave Macbeth" saying "he deserves that name". The way in which Macbeth is described as "brave" shows the audience that he is thought of highly by his peers and is seen as a "worthy gentleman". This is also continued through the scene as Duncan calls Macbeth "noble". This sets up the character of Macbeth as a courageous person who is good and noble. Macbeth's good reputation in the eyes of his fellow men is greatly contrasted towards the conclusion of the play; Macbeth tells Young Siward his name and is given a heartfelt reply: "The devil himself could not pronounce a title More hateful to mine ear" The theme of ...read more.


hair". Looking at these lines one would tend to think that Macbeth may not be truly evil but other forces, possibly that of the witches, may be at work, placing thoughts of murder and deceit into his mind, preventing him from staying on a just path. One is led to think that these thoughts scare Macbeth. Advancing further into the scene, Macbeth begins to lay out his options: "If chance will have me king, why chance may crown me Without my stir." He believes that he may become king through fate without having to kill anyone. At this stage, one may question what Macbeth's true feelings are and whether he will take the route of good or evil. This is contrasted strongly in act four; here Macbeth gives the order to kill Macduff and his family even though the apparitions told him "none of woman born Shall harm Macbeth." He sends the murderers out saying: "Give to the edge o' th' sword His wife, his babes, and all unfortunate souls" He becomes ruthless and feels that he must kill ...read more.


should have died hereafter; There would have been a time for such a word." The audience can tell that the relationship has broken down so much that he doesn't even have time to mourn for his wife. Macbeth begins to sink into depression; "Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow." He reflects on the endless succession of the days and realises that life is pointless and wonders whether to fight up to the last or give in now. The repetition shows the audience the monotony of life that Macbeth is feeling. After looking at and analysing various aspects of Macbeth's character, the conclusion can be made that Macbeth may not have been evil at heart. He is referred to as a "butcher", as far as this is concerned, one would be inclined to agree. A butcher kills without feeling. At the beginning of the play, Macbeth did feel guilt and sorrow but this did not last long. As his hunger for power and control grew, his compassion for his country and his fellow man diminished, he became bloodthirsty and would kill for security of his throne and became a tyrant but he carried a heavy heart full of sorrow. ...read more.

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