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This dead butcher- to what extent do you regard this description of Macbeth to be fair and accurate?

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Introduction

?This dead butcher?- to what extent do you regard this description of Macbeth to be fair and accurate? In Act five scene nine the character of Macbeth is described to the audience as ?This dead Butcher?. The aim of my essay is to explore to what extent this description of Macbeth is fair and accurate. I deem this statement to have truth at certain points within the play yet at other times Macbeth is seen to poses qualities that do show him as a ?dead butcher?. All of which are the contributing factors that cause the opinions of Macbeth to deteriorate from admired and respected to malicious and ?butcher? like. We first hear of Macbeth from the witches. Consequently the reader creates a link between Macbeth and the witches as they state, ?There to meet Macbeth?. This association is not alarming but sufficient to raise the thought that Macbeth cannot be good if he is connected to them. The fact they are to meet Macbeth implies an alliance between them which is reinforced later in the play. However, I feel that the initial link with the witches is forgotten when Macbeth is doused with praise when we hear of his reports from the battle field. The first impression of Macbeth as a character rather than just a name is a positive one that does not portray Macbeth as a ?dead butcher?. When we hear news of the battle field from a wounded soldier we hear how having been so close to defeat Macbeth, who ?disdained fortune? manages to bring a Scottish victory. ...read more.

Middle

This is something that would naturally cause difficulties to the boat, which is clearly the Witches? intention. Despite Banquo warning Macbeth this, that: ?often sometimes, to win us our harm The instruments of darkness tell us truths; Win us honest trifles, to betray?s in deepest consequence? This does not deter Macbeth in the latter half of the play from pursuing the Witches to find out more information even knowing that they have only caused him grief. Macbeth even admits to himself in his great soliloquy of the ?deep damnation? that would be Duncan?s murder. This shows Macbeth is fully aware of how evil the deed. He acknowledges that: ?We still have judgement here: that we but teach Blood instructions, which being taught return To plague the?inventor? This displays that he knows the consequences murdering Duncan. The choice of language with the word ?plague? enforces how negatively the death would impact on him as it is a word some may associate with The Black Plague; a catastrophic disease that caused the death of many. Macbeth knows that he will be caught for the murder as he admits ?blood will have blood? and that: ?By maggot-pies and choughs and rooks brought forth The secret?st man of blood? This demonstrates how even thought Macbeth knows the consequences, that he will be caught, he proceeds to murder yet more people. It is for these reasons that we can hold Macbeth responsible for the deeds that cause him to gain his name of ?dead butcher? despite the manipulation and influence from the Witches and Lady Macbeth as every decision made was his own. ...read more.

Conclusion

In Act four Scene three the audience sympathises with the devastated Macduff who says he ?could play the woman with mine eyes? at the news of his wife and ?pretty ones? having been ?savagely slaughtered? by Macbeth. They are completely unnecessary murders which show Macbeth as a cold blooded killer. The lack of emotion within Macbeth is reinforced when Lady Macbeth is ill towards the end of the play. Macbeth is very nonchalant and merely states in an aloof manner ?cure her of that? as if he is completely emotionally detattched from her suffering. Macbeth does not show any emotion when Lady Macbeth dies, because, like a butcher, he has become so used to death around him that it no longer affects him. Therefore, it is clear to see, that without doubt Macbeth fully deserves his title of ?dead butcher? that he receives at the end of the play. He mercilessly kills innocent people unnecessarily and becomes so emotionally detattched from taking the lives of others. However, as the audience have insight to the entirety of the play including Macbeth?s soliloquies, a certain amount of sympathy is felt for Macbeth. We feel sorry that such a great man could be let astray and through making the wrong decisions could end up as the ?dead butcher? he becomes. It is therefore right that Macbeth is killed at the end of the play as to restore the disruption of natural order he created. It should be admirable that Macbeth never loses courage and dies as a soldier with wounds ?on the front? although this does not detract from how deserving and accurate the title ?this dead butcher? is at describing Macbeth in Act five Scene nine. ...read more.

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