Shakespeare's Macbeth Essay

1285 words - 6 pages

“This...butcher and his fiend-like queen” is not a fair assessment of the characters Macbeth and Lady Macbeth in Shakespeare’s Macbeth. Macbeth cannot be labelled a “butcher” although Lady Macbeth is a “fiend like-queen”. Language techniques reveal thematic concerns involving the antithetical concepts of good and evil. Outside influences guide Macbeth to succumb to a flaw of ambition although his conscience signifies his regret to murder. Lady Macbeth’s actions signify a strong woman who strives for success committing evil deeds throughout the process. Thus, Macbeth cannot be labelled a “butcher” while Lady Macbeth is a “fiend like-queen”.

Macbeth’s loyalty falters due to outside ...view middle of the document...

Macbeth is a weak human being who becomes influenced by his success driven wife. Soliloquies are personal individual speeches which emphasis characters deepest emotions and ideas, shown during Act I: Scene V-
“unsex me here”
This quote evokes ideas that Lady Macbeth is a woman with masculine qualities including a driving sensation to succeed. Lady Macbeth persuades Macbeth to commit her evil deeds throughout her pursuit to succeed. The success which Lady Macbeth pursues involves acceptance, honour and high social status. Similes are used to describe emotions, ideas and scenes stating a comparison as shown during
Act I Scene V-
“Look like the innocent flower,
But be the serpent under it”
This quote signifies Lady Macbeth as an innocent, female physically although identifies her evil emotional qualities. Shakespeare identifies generalisations that specify qualities to be acknowledged as either male or female as shown during
Act I Scene VII-
“When you durst do it, then you were a man”
This quote identifies that Lady Macbeth will refer to Macbeth as female unless he commits murder. Lady Macbeth identifies murder as the male’s responsibility while she continuously hides in the background while the consequences become established. Lady Macbeth continuously verbally abuses Macbeth forcing him to decide between losing respect or committing murder. Therefore, Macbeth is influenced by his wife who is a fiend-like queen as shown during the Murder of King Duncan.

Macbeth’s changing ideas and influences are shown during the scene in which King Duncan is murdered. Soliloquies are personal individual speeches which emphasis characters deepest emotions and ideas as shown during Act I Scene VII-
“First, as I am his and his subject”
This quote emphasises Macbeth’s loyalty towards King Duncan. Macbeth is of lower social status on the Hierarchy of Power compared to Duncan making him feel obliged to continue showing loyalty. Contextually regicide (killing the king) was extremely discouraged because it threw society into ruins while people fight for power. Shakespeare uses questions to signify who is in control and who holds the wisdom within a situation shown during Act I: Scene VII-
“Macbeth: If we should fail
Lady Macbeth: We fail?
But screw your courage to the sticking-place, and we’ll not fail”
Macbeth is asking questions of his wife about the murder of King Duncan, emphasising that Lady Macbeth is taking control of the situation. Lady Macbeth verbally abuses Macbeth mocking his courage, highlighting her superiority. Macbeth continuously attempts to achieve his wife’s expectations and preserve his masculinity. This action proves that Lady Macbeth is the instigator of the murders and manipulator of Macbeth. Macbeth’s loyalty towards Duncan is shattered following Lady Macbeth’s abusive comments attacking Macbeth’s masculinity. Therefore, Macbeth is the victim of his wife’s (the fiend-like queen’s) manipulation although Macbeth’s conscience...

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