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"This dead butcher and his fiend-like queen" - To what extent do you agree with Malcolm's summation of the Macbeths and why?

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Introduction

"This dead butcher and his fiend-like queen" - To what extent do you agree with Malcolm's summation of the Macbeths and why? I do not fully agree with Malcolm's summation of Macbeth as a "dead butcher" because even though he (and L. Macbeth) carried out the murders of what they thought was necessary to achieve their target of getting the crown, it is the influence of the supernatural (the three witches), and Lady Macbeth, as she is responsible in controlling Macbeths emotions and thus to a certain extent his actions which consequently lead them to their deaths. However, I agree to a greater extent with Malcolm's description of Lady Macbeth as a "fiend-like queen" because right from the beginning we can see her burning ambition to become queen, and how she asks the evil spirits who "tend on mortal thoughts" to come into her and "stop up th' access and passage to remorse", so she has the strength to cope with the murder of King Duncan. ...read more.

Middle

When we first meet Lady Macbeth in the play, we immediately notice that she wants power and success and she can only do this through Macbeth, but she is afraid that she does not have the courage to do the deeds herself. She sees Macbeth as ambitious but without evil. Lady Macbeth is immediately linked to the witches as they both bring out evil qualities in Macbeth. We notice a link when she greets Macbeth in a similar way the witches greeted him: "Great Glamis, worthy Cawdor" Both Lady Macbeth and the witches greet Macbeth with his titles. Lady Macbeth does this to flatter Macbeth in order to manipulate him into doing what she wants. Lady Macbeth sees herself as a controlling figure; as she has Macbeth wrapped round her little finger. She also believes that she has the power to do evil, the audience can see that this is not true as they see her praying to the evil spirits to come into her and "make thick her blood", and telling the spirits to take her conscience away so she can commit the murder. ...read more.

Conclusion

When Macbeth and Macduff were fighting each other, Macbeth had a lot of confidence in himself that he could slain Macduff. But after he found out that Macduff was not of women born, but "untimely ripped" from his mother's womb, Macbeth loses all confidence and refuses to fight on. This clearly shows the influence and power of the supernatural on Macbeth. Maybe if he had ignored what they had said, Macbeth would have won. I don't 100% agree on Malcolm's summation of Macbeth as a "butcher", because I think the influence of the supernatural - the three witches and Lady Macbeth had a great effect on him. In some scenes, there is evidence of him showing signs of his guilty conscience and some kind of human kindness. Lady Macbeth's summation as a "fiend-like queen" is appropriate because a fiend is a devil, which means she is like the devil. I think this is correct because she asks the evil spirits to come into her and make her show no pity or remorse at all. She is seen as a fierce character that is even more masculine and stronger than Macbeth. ...read more.

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