Macbeth. A Dead Butcher And His Fiend Like Queen

1809 words - 8 pages

*Towards the end of the play Malcolm describes Macbeth and Lady Macbeth as “this dead butcher and his fiend like Queen”. To what extent is this a* fair assessment of the pair?

Even though Macbeth would love to be king, he does not want to become king by killing Duncan. He doesn’t want to kill him because he is his king and is still quite loyal to him. Macbeth is the host and it is his duty to protect him while he is in his castle. This shows us that Macbeth is not an evil man at the start of the play even though he does have some evil thoughts he is unable to carry these out. If he were evil then his relationship and duty to the king would not deter him from murdering Duncan:

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"Wake Duncan with thy knocking! I would thou couldst!"

Not too long after the murder of Duncan, Macbeth seems to become the dominant partner in their relationship, ordering the killing of Banquo and Fleance. Macbeth starts to take control making all the decisions for himself, and not even bothering to consult them with his wife. This shows that their relationship was very confusing, there seems to be two sides. When Macbeth is normal he is controlled by his wife but when he shows his evil side, he starts to take control.

The “butcher” side of him starts to creep out again but this time completely out of his own will, with no encouragement from anyone else accept his own ambitions. He tells his wife to:

"Be innocent of the knowledge, dearest chuck, Till thou applaud the deed."

Up until this point Macbeth has been acting with ambition, but by the start of Act 3 he starts to fight for his survival. He can see for himself that he has gone way too far but he cannot turn back, he is in way too deep:

"I am in blood Stepp’d in so far, that, should I wade no more, returning were as tedious as go o'er."

Macbeth has become very paranoid and he doesn’t trust anyone, especially Macduff. He is worried what will happen to him after his actions. He is also worried about what the witches told him, that all that he has fought for to become king will all go to Banquo’s sons. This really annoys Macbeth and makes him more determined and more willing to survive.

I don’t think that this kind of worrying portrayed by Macbeth so far is a sign of a “butcher”. If he were a true brutal murderer surely he would have no fear and he would not need to worry.

Macbeth was frustrated at Macduff for leaving the country before he could kill him. Macbeth then committed his worst murder, which was almost definitely an act of butchery he killed Lady Macduff and her son, two innocent people with no real involvement. Macbeth is now fighting for what he is, the king.

By the end of the play, Macbeth is tired of living. This is caused by his struggle to stay king and to get rid of his threats, giving in to all the pressure:

"I'gin to be aweary of the sun."

As he prepares to defend the castle, he again looks to the witches for spiritual support, hoping that their prophesies are at all true because if they are not he will lose everything he had gained.

Once Macbeth and Macduff come to face each other, Macbeth does not fear him as the witches told him anyone born by a woman will not harm him. Macbeth refuses to kill him whilst fighting each other as he is sorry for the killing of his family. He later finds out that Macduff was born by c section and so accepts his fate but refuses to surrender. This shows his previous form in Act 1 of his fearlessness, when he was good and honest, and shows that he is not afraid of death. By sparing Macduff’s life and showing the courage to fight to his death, Macbeth shows that he was not...

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