The Butcher and his Fiend like Queen in William Shakespeare’s Macbeth Introduction At the end of William Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Malcolm refers to Macbeth and Lady Macbeth as: “This dead like butcher and his fiend like queen,” when he was crowned as new king of Scotland. In Malcolm’s eyes, the Macbeths are just that, cruel murderers who stole away the throne from him and his father. A butcher can be described as someone who kills, or have people killed unnecessarily or brutally. A fiend can be defined as a very cruel person, or one who causes trouble and annoyance.
Macbeth is a butcher and Lady Macbeth his fiend-like queen, because of greed he had taken the lives of many people even close friends of him, and she manipulates him into doing the things he did with only her own ambitions at heart. Analysis Lady Macbeth is “fiend like” when she manages to convince Macbeth to kill Duncan. She seems to be missing all human kindness, when she trying to persuade Macbeth to commit the assassination. Macbeth hesitates on the night that the murder will be done. He does not want to do it.
Lady Macbeth persuades him, mocks his weakness, even suggesting that she having the cruelest of thoughts, the thoughts of killing their little baby. | “I would, while it was smiling in my face, Have pluck’d my nipple from his boneless gums, And dash’d the brains out, had I so sworn As you have done to this” (1,7) | Lady Macbeth wants to make him feel guilty and carry out the murder. The fact that she is trying to convince Macbeth to commit this horrible crime when he hesitates is very evil indeed.
Macbeth murders Duncan, the King, in order to gain the throne. Macbeth decides to kill Duncan himself, even though Lady Macbeth is supportive and persuades him. After the murder he says: | “I have done the deed. Didst thou not hear a noise? ” (2,2)| He have murdered with greed in mind, showing his “butcher” side of himself. Duncan’s death is especially barbaric because Macbeth killed him in his sleep and the fact that Duncan was Macbeth’s guest and cousin and also was considered a great King. Macbeth soon realizes that he cannot stop at just killing Duncan.
He understands that the one person who is most likely to threaten his position as King is Banquo. This is because he was present when the strange sisters gave Macbeth their prophecy, and can guess that Macbeth is guilty of murdering the King. Macbeth murdered his best friend, Banquo, for two different reasons. The witches’ predictions, that Banquo’s son is to become king, and the fear about Banquo’s knowledge of his dirty crime. Macbeth assigns the three murderers to kill both Banquo and his son Fleance. | “Fleance his son, that keeps him company,
Whose absence is no less material to me Than is his father’s, must embrace the fate Of that dark hour. ” (3, 1)| Banquo was Macbeth’s best friend and had done nothing wrong; therefore must this act be the most butcher-like from Macbeth’s side. Macbeth slaughtered Lady Macduff and her son, due to the predictions made by the witches. Another example of Macbeth being a butcher is when he hires the murderers to kill the family of Macduff, just in order to cause him pain. | “The castle of Macduff I will surprise;
Seize upon Fife; give to the edge o’ the sword His wife, his babes, and all unfortunate souls” (4, 1)| To murder innocent children and their mother is an exceptionally brutal act. Conclusion “The butcher and his Fiend like queen” as Malcolm refers to Macbeths in the end of the play, is an accurate way to describe Macbeth and his wife. Macbeth can be described as a butcher when he is involved in the murders of the King, Banquo, his best friend, and the family of Macduff. He murders innocent people, people he like, just to gain power.
Lady Macbeth can be given the title of a fiend-like queen when she intrigues to murder Duncan and can be seen just as a brutal murderer as Macbeth because she is the brain behind the crime. Macbeth may not have murdered King Duncan without the support of his “Fiend like queen”, but Macbeth maid that choice and therefore he also chooses to rule in Hell rather than to serve in Heaven. This all came down to Macbeth’s greed and Lady Macbeth’s ambitions to become the King and Queen. Bibliography Shakespeare, W. (1990) Macbeth, Arden
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