At the end of Macbeth, Malcolm refers to Macbeth and Lady Macbeth as 'this dead butcher...and his fiend-like queen.' To what extent do you agree with this judgement?

Topics: Macbeth, Duncan I of Scotland, Malcolm III of Scotland Pages: 4 (1345 words) Published: December 9, 2002
At the end of the play, Malcolm, the newly crowned King of Scotland describes Lady Macbeth as a 'fiend-like queen.' To a certain extent this judgement is true, yet Lady Macbeth has to actually evoke evil spirits to help prevent her from feeling any compassion or warmth. The evil spirits 'unsex' Lady Macbeth and remove all feminine qualities from her, trading them for evil, proving that deep down there must be some good in her if she has to call for some outside help to aid her with her deeds.

Lady Macbeth likes to be seen as ruthless and cruel by everyone, yet we know that she must have feelings if she cannot bring herself to murder King Duncan because he 'resembled my father as he slept.' This shows that she cannot possibly be as heartless as she appears on the exterior, she still has feelings for others which she tries to bury deep inside and cover up with all the evil, rarely letting the good surface. We see her inner feelings struggling to keep buried when she sleepwalks after Duncan's murder. She is over heard struggling to cope with such a vulgar act and finds it difficult to keep her sanity showing how Macbeth is becoming the stronger partner in the relationship whilst Lady Macbeth is being driven insane by her guilt. She started out as the stronger character in her relationship with Macbeth and constantly played with his masculinity, trying to convince him to carry out the murder, yet she admitted that she wouldn't be able to actually commit the deed. This is just showing how weak she actually is compared to how she appears and before the murder was committed she had to consume alcohol to boost her confidence, claiming 'that which hath made them drunk, hath made me bold.' This isn't necessarily true as every small everyday sound makes her jump giving out an image of a nervous, scared woman underneath her cover of a strong, evil fiend.

However, at the beginning of the play a different woman is portrayed. She is a loyal wife who has great ambitions...
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