• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month
Page
  1. 1
    1
  2. 2
    2
  3. 3
    3
  4. 4
    4
  5. 5
    5
  6. 6
    6
  7. 7
    7
  8. 8
    8
  9. 9
    9

"This Dead Butcher and his fiend-like queen." With close reference to the play discuss how accurate you think this presentation of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth is. Refer to the social and historical context of the play in your answer.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Macbeth "This Dead Butcher and his fiend-like queen." With close reference to the play discuss how accurate you think this presentation of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth is. Refer to the social and historical context of the play in your answer. The nature of evil can be perceived in many ways. The Oxford dictionary states that evil is morally bad; harmful; very unpleasant. We, as human beings, perceive evil in people; people that are harmful and wicked towards others and us. All three meanings that the dictionary gives of evil fit Macbeth's personality in the play. Macbeth and Lady Macbeth have a very close, complex relationship, which is what spurs them on to achieving what they set out to do. This is true until the point where Macbeth becomes more reliant on the supernatural and keeps everything from his wife. At this point, everything begins to go downhill for Macbeth, as he doesn't have the strength to carry on, his strength is in the form of his wife; she is his thrust. In human relationships, the husband and wife get so close that they begin to become like one another. This is what is apparent between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. Macbeth changes due to the pressures imposed on him by Lady Macbeth, "Hie thee hither, that I may pour my spirits in thine ear". Lady Macbeth, however, changes not due to her husband but as her relationship with Macbeth begins to drift, as she begins to have a lesser knowledge of her surroundings and the killings in which Macbeth is involved and as the guilt inside her becomes so overwhelming, "all the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand." The support that Macbeth gives Lady Macbeth is different to the way in which she supports him. At the start of the play, Lady Macbeth supports Macbeth by pushing him to kill King Duncan therefore giving Macbeth the place of king. ...read more.

Middle

He then shouts at the ghost saying, "Thou canst not say I did it: never shake thy gory locks at me." At this point Lady Macbeth steps in and defends Macbeth, saying that he is always like this, the temporary insanity will pass and that they should eat and ignore him, "The fit is momentary; upon a thought he will again be well...Feed, and regard him not." To make him stop making faces and acting strangely, Lady Macbeth challenges his masculinity and tries to make him feel ashamed, "Are you a man...Shame itself! Why do you make such faces?" Then, further on in the scene, the ghost of Banquo confronts Macbeth once again. This time Macbeth tells the ghost to approach him in any other form but a ghost as Macbeth knows he can deal with something real, but he cannot deal with something unreal, "Approach thou like the rugged Russian bear, the arm'd rhinoceros, or the Hyrcan tiger; take any shape but that". Once again, Lady Macbeth helps her husband but stopping him from revealing anything more to the guests, "Question enrages him...Stand not upon the order of your going, but go at once". Macbeth's relationship hits a downhill as soon as he tells his wife that he will go to the witches to find out more, he becomes so dependant on the supernatural to find out about his future, he is so determined to know, "betimes I will - to the weird sisters: More shall they speak; for now I am bent to know". Macbeth then says that he has killed so much that he can't go back, he must continue, "I am in blood stepp'd in so far, that, should I wade no more, returning were as tedious as go'er." This can be seen as cold-blooded and bloodthirsty on Macbeth's half, as Lady Macbeth has no further participation in any of the forecoming killings. ...read more.

Conclusion

This shows that she is not motherly and fiend-like. After the killing of king Duncan Lady Macbeth feels no regrets whatsoever. As Macbeth feels regret and says, "This is a sorry sight", Lady Macbeth replies, "A foolish thought to say a sorry sight...Consider it not so deeply". Lady Macbeth even thinks that just washing her hands will remove all regrets, guilt and witness of their bad deed, "A little water clears us of this deed". After this point, Lady Macbeth is no longer evil, she has the power she has thrived for, and therefore nothing more needs to be done. Although after this point Lady Macbeth has no say in any of the subsequent killings, she begins to break down due to overwhelming guilt and sleep-deprivation. She begins to become fearful of hell, she keeps trying to wash her hands to get all of the blood and guilt out, and she becomes totally helpless and tries to resort to sleep as a cure. "She rubs her hands...Hell are murky!..who would have thought the old man to have had so much blood in him?..all the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand...To bed, to bed, to bed". This shows the goodness in Lady Macbeth and the good human nature of hers. Even after the killing of King Duncan, Lady Macbeth gave the reason why she didn't kill him herself, "Had he not resembled my father as he slept, I had done't. Again, this shows that Lady Macbeth is less evil than thought otherwise and that she can be seen as very human. In my opinion, Lady Macbeth and Macbeth can be seen as both a 'butcher' and a 'fiend-like queen' aswell as humans. They both possess a strong evil nature, but also a good human nature. In my opinion, there is nobody ultimately responsible for the death of King Duncan and nobody responsible for the subsequent murders either. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Macbeth section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Macbeth essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    "this dead butcher, and his fiend-like queen". Are these words by Malcolm an appropriate ...

    4 star(s)

    Also in Act 4 Scene 1, just after Macbeth has visited the Weird Sisters, Macbeth intends to slaughter the whole of Macduff's family for vengeance. Macbeth yells; "...give to the edge o' th' sword His wife, his babes, and all unfortunate souls That trace him in his line."

  2. Marked by a teacher

    Analysis of the relationship between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth

    3 star(s)

    It seems Macbeth's strength in life is found within Lady Macbeth. And Lady Macbeth herself feeds on this. So this situation is a fantastic opportunity for each of the two to show how they in their own way depend on one another.

  1. Macbeth Summary - historical context and the main female roles.

    - Antithesis of a maternal mother o Milk of human kindness while blood is masculine in bedchamber o She calls on darkness like her husband to hid the truth * She manipulates Macbeth by questioning his manhood as her ambitions of power have social constraints.

  2. " Macbeth was a victim of Lady Macbeth and the Supernatural Sisters"

    the throne, he would not have felt the need to have Banquo and Fleance murdered. Whilst the Supernatural Sisters provided Macbeth with the motives for Duncan's murder, it was his wife Lady Macbeth who encouraged him to commit the act.

  1. Is Lady Macbeth a Fiend-like queen?

    At this point, the audience would have been horrified at the character of Lady Macbeth. Also, they would have seen her as utterly evil, sinful and malignant. Lady Macbeth wants the spirits to cover them in the "dunnest smoke of hell."

  2. 'Macbeth' gives us a classic example of the literary definition of a 'tragic hero'. ...

    Once Macbeth has given her the answer she does not want she makes it quite clear to him what she intends to do. Instead of saying, 'The sun may never see that morrow' she states it as a fact that Duncan will not survive the night, which makes it very difficult for Macbeth to disagree with her.

  1. Shakespeare's use of the Supernatural in Macbeth

    He wonders why he does not think they are good, as he says: 'If good, why do I yield to that suggestion, Whose horrid image doth unfix my hair, And make my seated heart knock at my ribs, Against the use of nature?'

  2. The relationship between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth

    The fact that it was Lady Macbeth, not Macbeth, who eventually instigated the murder of Duncan would have been shocking to Elizabethan and Jacobean people. Throughout the play a lot of emphasis is put upon the importance of sleep. In the play sleep is regarded as God's beautiful gift to

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work