'This dead butcher and his fiend-like queen.' Is this quote an accurate assessment of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth in Shakespeares 'Macbeth'?

Essay by esszed99Junior High, 8th gradeA, March 2004

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'This dead butcher and his fiend-like queen.'

The images portrayed by Macbeth and Lady Macbeth change dramatically throughout the play. I believe that the quote 'this dead butcher and his fiend-like queen' is not an accurate assessment of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth.

Although there were elements of butchery in Macbeths behavior, he also had many strengths. He was heroic, brave, and ambitious and was a good husband however, his behavior changed throughout the play. At the beginning Macbeth was a respected, loyal, patriotic soldier and was even manipulated by his wife by her questioning his manhood. He was very dependent on Lady Macbeth because she was the one with all the ambition and aspiration. This is a very different Macbeth to what we see him as later on in the play. He becomes confident, devious, malevolent, and malicious.

The word 'butcher' refers to killing, slaughtering and slaying with no motivation, no feeling and senselessness.

Macbeth has aspects of these but when he kills he is very motivated. When he wanted to kill Banquo, the murderers first refuse to do so but Macbeth kept at it and finally persuaded and manipulated them by questioning their manhood. He says things like 'to be thus is nothing but to be safely thus' and 'you know that Banquo was your enemy.'

After Macbeth killed Duncan he felt very guilty because Duncan was a god friend and had done nothing wrong. Macbeths guilt and regret were slowly building up inside him. A butcher would kill with no feeling. Macbeth, when he killed Duncan, was filled with feeling. Closer to the end of the play Macbeth went on a killing spri and felt as though once he started he couldn't stop. This suggests that he was butcher like.

Towards the end of the play when...