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"This dead butcher and his fiend like queen", is the way in which Malcolm describes Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. Describe the way in which these two characters changed during the course of the play.

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Introduction

MacBeth - Character Changes "This dead butcher and his fiend like queen", is the way in which Malcolm describes Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. Describe the way in which these two characters changed during the course of the play. At the beginning of the play Macbeth is seen as a courageous soldier who is loyal to the King but is corrupted from the witches prophecies and by his and Lady Macbeth's ambition. This is because of the weakness of Macbeth's character and the strong power of Lady Macbeth and how she is easily able to influence him. Her strength motivates him at the start but after he realises what he has done it is himself that continues in his murderous, bloody path. At the beginning of the play Lady Macbeth appears as a kind wife of Macbeth's but underneath lies a scheming and treacherous woman. In the beginning of the play Macbeth is a strong soldier who fights for the King without mercy but his strive for ambition and his curious nature leads him to the witches who give him a prophecy. Banquo realises that there must be a trick hidden in the witches prophecies somewhere but Macbeth refuses to accept that, and when Lady Macbeth finds out about the witches her strong desire for ambition and her cold nature leads Macbeth astray. ...read more.

Middle

Macbeth can be summarised into a character although strong physically he is very weak mentally and it is this weakness which causes the downfall and change of Macbeth. Other factors do however also contribute to this change such as his wife whose ambition is very strong at first and is much more stronger mentally than Macbeth but it is also Macbeth's ambition and his trust in the witches which ultimately change him. Lady Macbeth seems to be almost opposite compared to that of Macbeth in physical and mental power. Lady Macbeth is the person who is able to persuade Macbeth into killing Duncan, assuring Macbeth that it will succeed, as Lady Macbeth's ambition is far greater than that of Macbeth. This change in the character of Lady Macbeth is apparent after she reads the letter from Macbeth as she goes and talks to the evil spirits to make herself evil with lines such as "Fill me from the crown to the toe-top full of direst cruelty! Make thick my blood". She goes to the extent of planning the murder of Duncan and assumes full responsibility of this. She exerts a lot of power over Macbeth in this part of the play and even calls him a "coward" and this shows just how determined she is and how much ambition she has for her husband. ...read more.

Conclusion

As Macbeth progresses with his evil acts, however, Lady Macbeth starts to go mad which is almost like what her prophecy mentioned. She also hallucinates like her husband but this time about trying to cleanse her hands of the blood that will not wash off. Even though she may be a strong character greatly supporting her husband she is reduced and battered by the deeds and her conscience which she was able to rid from Macbeth, eventually drives her insane. She then kills herself unable to remove the "damned spot". At his wife's suicide Macbeth has already thrown away his conscience, so much so, that Macbeth commits even more evil acts afterwards without even admitting her to his conscience. Over the course of the play Macbeth and Lady Macbeth greatly change with respect to their characters and their personalities. Although Macbeth was weak at first it was the strong Lady Macbeth who helped him through the first murder but in sacrifice to controlling Macbeth and his conscience she lost control of hers and in consequence turned insane and killed herself. Thus in the end it was worthy to call Macbeth and his wife "a dead butcher and his fiend like queen" but it must not be forgotten that at the beginning of the play Macbeth and his wife were ordinary nobles at the time. ...read more.

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