Analysis of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth in William Shakespeare's Play

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Analysis of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth in William Shakespeare's Play

"This dead butcher and his fiend-like queen"

Macbeth is a play of murder and witchcraft. Many actors when

performing it on stage are too superstitious to use the real name, and

call it " The Scottish play" instead believing that this way they will

avoid bad luck being brought on themselves. The quotation from

Malcolm's speech (V.ix.36) seems to portray Macbeth as a mindless

killer, and that it is his wife who is the scheming villain, who is

fiend-like, thus emphasising her link with the dark forces in the

play. I think that this is too simple a way to sum up two complicated

characters. Therefore I shall look at both Macbeth's and Lady

Macbeth's characters as they advance through the play and the other

characters that influence them before I draw any conclusions.

This play was written and produced by Shakespeare during the reign of

James I. We have to bear this in mind. Shakespeare was trying to

impress the king who was a descendant of Scottish royalty. In the play

Banquo represents King James' supposed ancestor. One of Shakespeare's

aims in writing the play was to show his support for the king and that

he was against the various uprisings which took place in James' reign.

At the start of the play Macbeth is a very strong and courageous

nobleman of the king. He is a ruthless warrior and loyal to his

country. These qualities are shown right at the beginning of the play

when in battle he bravely but violently killed the captain of the

other army: "he unseamed him from the nave to th'chaps."(I.ii.22). He

therefore receives the title of Thane of Cawdor. But this had...

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lost. He still fights though even though he knows he is a lost cause.

This shows one of his qualities, one that shines through the evil and

corrupt soul that has betrayed him throughout. He is then killed. In

conclusion I believe I have shown that the description of Macbeth and

Lady Macbeth is not completely correct for either of them. Whilst

Macbeth's ambition made him a murderer, he was not just a "butcher" in

the sense that he was troubled by doubts and his conscience and it

took his wife's taunts to bring him to commit the murder. Lady

Macbeth, shows all "fiendish" qualities by appealing to evil spirits

for help to plan the detail of the murder of Duncan. Nevertheless she

is troubled by her dreams, which eventually cause her to commit

suicide in Act 5 showing her being overcome by guilt for what she had


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