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"this dead butcher, and his fiend-like queen". Are these words by Malcolm an appropriate epitaph for Macbeth and Lady Macbeth?

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Introduction

"this dead butcher, and his fiend-like queen". Are these words by Malcolm an appropriate epitaph for Macbeth and Lady Macbeth? Malcolm says this epitaph after Macduff has severed Macbeth's head and walks into the castle. Macduff then informs his companions to proclaim "Hail, King of Scotland!" signifying he is King, which all of his companions declare. Then Malcolm states that he and everyone else will not waste their time. Malcolm also says to his Thanes and Kinsmen to be hereby known as Earls, which is what the British Thanes were called. In the same speech he exclaims that the people that fled to England (himself, Malcolm, and his brother, Donalbain) knew what Scotland had produced and he describes Macbeth as a "butcher" and Lady Macbeth as a "fiend-like Queen", but is this true? Macbeth Malcolm describes Macbeth as a "butcher" as he feels he mercilessly killed people. Below are some points that support Malcolm's view of Macbeth. The first sign of Macbeth becoming a "butcher" is when Macbeth and Lady Macbeth plan to murder King Duncan whilst he is sleeping; this occurs in Act 1 Scene 7, although it is Lady Macbeth that persuades him to do it. In Act 3 Scene 1, we can see the first steps that Macbeth is becoming a "butcher" as he plans the death of Banquo and Fleance whilst they travel on horseback. ...read more.

Middle

This can be compared to the battle as Macbeth and Banquo were not shocked by the arrival of new soldiers. The Captain shows to Duncan that Macbeth is extremely brave as he and Banquo fought against a new enemy without fear. In the same Scene Macbeth is described as "noble" when Duncan remarks, "What he hath lost noble Macbeth hath won." This means that everything the Thane of Cawdor lost, Macbeth gained. This could mean many things even strength or bravery. In Act 1 Scene 4 Macbeth is, yet again, described as "worthy" by Duncan, where Duncan says, "O worthiest cousin," This shows that Duncan thinks that Macbeth is very worthy and precious. Duncan also trusts him as he gives Macbeth the title of "Thane of Cawdor". In the same speech, Duncan remarks, "More is thy due than more than all can pay." Duncan means that he cannot pay Macbeth back for defending Scotland because what Macbeth deserves not even the King has. In Act 1 Scene 4, Duncan again calls Macbeth "worthy", "My worthy Cawdor." The continuous description of Macbeth as "worthy" by Duncan stresses to the reader or viewer that Duncan trusted Macbeth and did not think that he would betray him. ...read more.

Conclusion

This is because his wife, Lady Macbeth, forced him to commit the murder of King Duncan, which is the very first act of evil he performed. The murder then fuelled him to commit other acts of evil, the massacre of Macduff's family and the murder of Banquo. Therefore, I think that Macbeth was thought of as a "butcher" because he killed people only due to the persuasion of Lady Macbeth. Therefore, after analysing the evidence I think that Lady Macbeth was a "fiend-like queen" because she persuaded Macbeth to do wicked actions and if she had not have done this, then none of the other immoral actions would have been performed. I think that William Shakespeare wanted Lady Macbeth to persuade Macbeth to commit sin, because it can be compared to the actions of Eve, who persuaded Adam to eat from the forbidden fruit tree. The play can also show the attitudes of men in that era, that women were evil and forced men to commit sin. Overall I think that to an extent Malcolm's word were an appropriate epitaph for Macbeth and Lady Macbeth, but I do not think that, after examining the evidence, Macbeth was a "butcher", but I find Lady Macbeth was "fiend-like queen". "Producing forth the cruel ministers Of this dead butcher, and his fiend-like queen," Jan-Sher Bhatti 10MS English Coursework-Macbeth 20/01/03 Page 1 of 4 ...read more.

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Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

4 star(s)

This is an interesting quote to explore and use as a base to an essay; however the points in this essay are not developed enough or considered within the context of the whole play. Language choices are considered but structure and form aren't: these are a must in an analytical essay. This essay shows a good understanding of the play, but this knowledge just needs to be used in a more effective manner.

4 Stars

Marked by teacher Laura Gater 23/07/2013

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