The Macbeths – “this Dead Butcher And His Fiend-like Queen” Essay, Research Paper
“this dead butcher and his fiend-like queen”. Is this a fair comment on the characters of the Macbeths?Malcolm said this. There is bias. Macbeth kills his father Duncan. Malcolm should be king instead of Macbeth. Macbeth seizes power by force. Also, Macbeth brings chaos and destruction to Scotland (his homeland). Therefore, Malcolm makes a subjective comment on the Macbeths that they are “butcher” and “fiend-like queen”.
However, it contains some truth in it. Macbeth did murder Duncan and Banquo. In order to consolidate his power, he kills Macduff’s wife and son and all the people in the Castle of Fife .At this point, he is a “butcher”. For Lady Macbeth, she did persuade Macbeth to kill Duncan. She emboldens Macbeth by saying”How tender ??tis to love the babe that milks me-I would, while it was smiling in my face, have plucked my nipple from his boneless gums, and dashed the brains out” Her persuasion quickens the pace of the murder. She is a “fiend-like queen “at that point.
A butcher is a person who kills people unnecessarily and brutally. A fiend is someone very cruel and spiteful.
It is not a fair comment. They are not “butcher” and “fiend” all through. They changes from Act 1 to Act5.
Macbeth starts with a loyal and valour soldier who sheds blood righteously to maintain peace and order in the country. In Act 1 Scene 2, it says that, “Brave Macbeth?Kwith sword steaming with blood, he carved his way forward till he finds the wretch.” He hesitates in the killing of Duncan. In Act 1 Scene 7, Macbeth says “We’ll go no further in this business. He was honored me recently, and I’ve won great respect form all sorts of people.” In Act 2 Scene2, after Macbeth murders Duncan, even he himself describes Duncan’s death as “a sorry sight”. He says that “Look on’t again I dare not”. On this stage, Macbeth still has conscience. Not until Act 3 onwards, Macbeths becomes a “butcher” that blood is no longer shed righteously. He kills Banquo and all the people in Macduff’s castle. All the people suffer under his tyranny. It’s not a fair comment for Lade Macbeth. She is not evil at all times. Though she seems to be screwd, she shows her fears (projection of her guilt).In act 2 Scene2, Lady Macbeth cannot kill Duncan because she sees her own father in Duncan. She says,”Had he not resembled my father as he slept I hadn’t done’t”. She is conscience-stricken. In Act 5scene1, she suffers form sleepwalking which shows her inner guilt. It says “the smell of the blood is still there. All the perfumes of Arabia cannot sweeten this little hand”. Though she did persuade Macbeth to kill, her heart is heavy-burdened with guilt.
We can see that it’s not a fair comment on the Macbeths. They aren’t “butcher” and “fiend” all through.
This story is overwhelmed with human weakness .Weakness breed evilness. Weakness makes evilness prevail to do harm and to harm you. When you could not resist temptation, hidden ambition reveals. You will commit more wrong doings to achieve the goal. That is human weakness. Weakness can turn to evilness under overwhelming ambition. For an example Macbeth sees the ghost of Banquo and he wonders “Will all great Neptune’s ocean wash this blood clean from my hand? NO”. He sees their own guilt .He sees them after he commits immoral crimes (evilness). He commits crimes as he is overflowed with ambition and lust (his character flaw). That is his fatal flaw that allows evilness to grow and to do harm.
They are not victims only of the powers of darkness. Darkness symbolizes evilness. They are the one who let their own evilness prevail. They are easily tempted, supernatural powers just act as a stimulant. They have their desire?Xto be king and queen. They use the prophecies as an excuse to get the throne by foul means. Macbeth has a choice not to be tempted, yet he chooses to be tempted. The same temptation is given to Banquo. Banquo choose to resist it. Though he knows that his sons will succeed after Macbeth, he does not let evil to harm him. So, the Macbeths can blame no one, but themselves.
Lady Macbeth is to be sympathized. She persuades Macbeth to seize power just because she loves him. She just does what an ordinary wife should do, to support her husband and to help him to the road of success. She doesn’t know that the murder of Duncan will fasten the downfall of Macbeth.
On the contrary, Macbeth is not to be sympathized, yet he is a tragic hero. He deserves his own downfall. Macbeth is a man full of courage and bravery to start with. He is highly praised by Duncan and supported by people. However, he is not satisfied with what he has already got. He is like an ordinary man like you and I. He has a flaw, that is his greed and lust for power .He cannot withstand temptation and he wants to change fate. He commits more and more inexcusable crimes. However, fate cannot be changed. That provokes victims under his tyranny like Macduff to revenge on him. Those bloody businesses, instead of securing his power, have fastened his downfall. He falls from grace and power. He loses faith and admiration of his people. Even Lady Macbeth is no longer there to support him. He has a tragic ending. He deserves it. If he can withstand the temptation and does not allow his inner evil to prevail, he would not have had such a dreadful ending. That’s why, he is not to be sympathized.
In conclusion, “this butcher and his fiend-like queen” is partly a fair comment on the characters of the Macbeths. It worth to say so, but they are not butcher and fiend all through. Lady Macbeth is to be sympathized but Macbeth is not. He is a classic tragic hero who falls from grace due to his uncontrolled ambition. From it, I realize that all evilness comes from human weakness. If you cannot control your hidden ambition, you will have your downfall and self-destruction like the courageous soldier Macbeth and have a tragic end.