- Free Essays, Term Papers & Book Notes

Macbeth -’this Dead Butcher and His Fiend-Like Queen’

By:   •  Essay  •  750 Words  •  April 1, 2010  •  1,075 Views

Page 1 of 3

Macbeth -’this Dead Butcher and His Fiend-Like Queen’

‘This dead butcher and his fiend-like queen’

At the end of the play, Malcolm refers to Macbeth and Lady Macbeth as: ’…this dead butcher and his fiend-like queen…’, but how much of truth is there to this statement? If we carefully look at their actions and even more so their reactions throughout the play, we still seem to feel a sense of sympathy for them; even though they have committed such dreadful deeds. This is the mastery of Shakespeare… So is Macbeth a butcher; and Lady Macbeth a fiend-like queen? Let us consider how much truth there really is to this very poignant depiction…

‘All hail, Macbeth, that shalt be king hereafter.’ This is perhaps the line that lays siege to Macbeths mind, and the start of a downward spiral of mental deterioration. This scene is the first time in the play that we see Macbeth’s ambition (which very quickly becomes ‘vaulting ambition’) he already has contemplated murder, but he is utterly horrified by his thoughts. When Lady Macbeth here’s about the ‘weird sister’s’ prophecies, she is profoundly affected by them, and she immediately realizes that she is has to convince Macbeth to kill Duncan (for he is to fill of the ‘milk of human kindness)’; so that they may rule Scotland. At this point many would perceive her to have fiendish qualities, but the she calls on the spirits to ‘unsex’ her, and make her strong. Now we have to consider, that if she was naturally such a wicked women, why would she have to do this?

In Act 2, scene 1 the horrid deed is done. Macbeth and His Lady are both on edge; Macbeth however is deeply affected by the vicious deed that he has just committed, and he is in a state of absolute shock, he is already regretting his actions, certainly not a trait of a cold blooded butcher. We learn also that Lady Macbeth could not herself kill Duncan, as he reminded her of her father as he slept. Again we ask whether this would be a contemplation of an evil woman.

When Macbeth orders Banquo’s and his son, Fleance’s, execution; has mind is still in turmoil- he orders the murders to set his mind at rest, not only because Banquo had knowledge of the witches prophecies, but also because the witches had said that Banquo will give rise to a line of kings, but as for Macbeth, a ‘fruitless crown’ was placed upon his head. He thinks that this murder will serve as a Panado for his aches and pains; however these are all of the mind- and will not give in so easily. Then when he sees Banquo’s ghost at the banquet, he is deeply distressed, and we see a rapid deterioration in

Continue for 2 more pages »  •  Join now to read essay Macbeth -’this Dead Butcher and His Fiend-Like Queen’
Download as (for upgraded members)