To what extent does Macbeth deserve to be called the dead butcher and Lady Macbeth the fiend-like queen?
Macbeth is referred to a dead butcher. A butcher is someone who slaughters mercilessly. Lady Macbeth is described as a fiend- like queen. To be fiend- like is to be demon- like and evil. We will discover the acts of these two characters to agree or dispute the behavior and to decide to what extent are they to be labeled with such terms.
In Act 5, Scene, 7 of Macbeth; after defeating Macbeth, Malcolm the son of King Duncan refers to Macbeth as A dead butcher and to his wife A Fiend-like queen, which means a demon- like queen. Macbeth, a loyal, noble, worthy and respected warrior defaced his honor by being deceitful and gluttonous for evil gain. The descriptive label given to Macbeth is very deserving. It is to be notified that Macbeths evil intentions arose very early in the play as he contemplated the murder of King Duncan. This thought is seen in Act 1, scene 4 as Macbeth says, My thought, whose murder yet is but fantastical, shakes so my single state of man that function is smothered in surmise, and nothing is but what it is not. Macbeth continually developed unworthy thoughts as he drifted from an impressive and an ambitious warrior to an unjust and overly ambitious ruler.
Many may argue that this title given to Macbeth seems very harsh and many may use examples such as in Act 1, scene 4for justification of his feelings of trepidation. The prince of Cumberland! That is a step on which I must fall down, or else o'erleap, for in my way it lies. Stars hide your fires; Let not light see my black and deep desires. The eye wink at the hand yet let that be which the eye fears, when it is done, to see. In Act 2, scene 1 the vile deed is done. Macbeth and His Lady have completed the deed but Macbeth has already been 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. .
Many critical reviewers have placed emphasis on the seen fact of Macbeths regretful behavior and un- surety through ought the play, making this justification that gives him every right to escape from the destruction he has brought upon him self. Every act is clearly thought about by Macbeth. It is also notified by critics that some how Macbeth should not be referred to as a dead butcher for in Act 2, scene 2, (One servant cried, God bless us! and the other replied, Amen, as if they had seen my bloody hands. Listening to their frightened voices, I couldnt reply Amen when they said God bless us!), we see him in a state of regret-fullness and horrific fear and these are certainly are the traits of a dead butcher. Macbeths intentions are not mistakenly exhibited, and now that his conscience is plundering him with dreadful images, places him in a state of denial, however this does not provide a free escape from his wicked deeds. It is understandable that one may pity Macbeth; for at the time after his confrontation by the witches he did not think to do anything to make the prophesy come true as seen in Act 1, scene 3, If Chance will have me king, why, chance. May crown me,without my stir. However by taking a deeper look into the play, Macbeths deep intentions are being revealed as Malcolm is pronounced successor to the throne. This initiates the beginning of the un-masking of Macbeths true character.
As the greed for position and the haste to go to the extreme to be made wealthy; Macbeth killed many people. Macbeth plotted and assassinated Duncan, The King. The continuation of his deadly behavior continued as Macbeth killed not only Lady Macduff and her son but even his best friend, Banquo. In Act 4, scene 1it says, To crown my thoughts with acts, be it thought and done: The castle of Macduff I will surprise, Seize upon Fife, give to th' edge o' th' sword. His wife, his babes, and all unfortunate souls. Macbeth turns into a butcher by making killing an addiction.
Lady Macbeth comes in as a source of persuasion in relation with the murder. Understand that there is evil that is extracted form Lady Macbeths behavior. Watch closely as it unravels in such a natural way. Lady Macbeth influences Macbeths decision but the very act is carried out by Macbeth himself, he is not forced at any point in the play. As we look further on we see that Macbeth himself is the one to initiate the murder of Banquo. Act 3, scene 1 Fleance, his son, that keeps him company, whose absence is no less material to me, than is his fathers, must embrace the fate of that dark hour..
Lady Macbeth is seen in initiating the first murder and appears prepared to commit murder and is confident that nothing is going to stop her progress. She utters words of an evil persona, thereby reflecting the inner most conniving state of her character which highlights her deviousness. Lady Macbeth says in Act 1, scene 5, Look like the time. Bear welcome in your eye, your hand, your tongue. Look like th' innocent flower, But be the serpent undert. He thats coming must be provided for; and you shall put this nights great business into my dispatch, which shall to all our nights and days to come give solely sovereign sway and masterdom. There is no further explanation needed to prove the deceitful intentions and actions of this queen. She posses every evil like status that a woman has never been seen to bear even Macbeth says to her in Act1, scene 7, Bring forth men-children only, for thy undaunted mettle should compose. Nothing but males. Lady Macbeths devil likeeminence is depicted especially as she mocks Macbeth trying to influence the completion of his decision to kill King Duncan. She accused Macbeth of being fickle-minded, and not being a man of his words. Professor Moulton (Shakespeare as a Dramatic Artist) is more just in his conception of Lady Macbeth. As he remarks, "Her intellectual culture must have quickened her finer sensibilities at the same time that it built up a will strong enough to hold them down"; and her keen delicacy of nature continually strives to assert it. When she calls on the spirits of darkness to unsex her, "she is trembling all over with repugnance to the bloody enterprise, which nevertheless her royal will insist upon her undertaking." Her career in the play "is one long mental war; and the strain ends, as such a strain could only end, in madness." In Act 2, scene 2, These deeds must not be thought, after these ways; so, it will make us mad.
However a fiend- like queen seems to be appropriate as slowly her conniving trickery becomes persuasive and reinforced continually. With no sight of human kindness only deceit and deception there is no other way to perceive Lady Macbeth from the beginning towards the end of the play. Macbeth ended in an even a more dreadful and wicked way than Lady Macbeth. His greed was overwhelming and out of control and he deserves to a great extent to be labeled dead butcher and his Lady fiend-like queen.