Analysis of Macbeth by William Shakespeare

analytical Essay
829 words
829 words

Analysis of Macbeth by William Shakespeare At the conclusion of the play, Malcolm refers to Macbeth as “this dead

butcher and his fiend like queen.” This is in direct contrast to the

audience’s introduction to Macbeth where he is described as a brave

courageous soldier, loyal to his king Duncan and devoted to his wife.

Aristotle said that the only “proper subject of tragedy, is the

spectacle of a man not absolutely or eminently good or wise that is

brought to disaster not by sheer depravity but by some error or


Critic A. Quiller-Couch states that “tragedy demands some sympathy

with the fortunes of the hero and however gross his error or grievous

his frailty, it must not exclude our feeling that he is a man like

ourselves.” He argues how Shakespeare could make the audience

sympathize with Macbeth, “a murderer and a murderer for his private

profit… a traitor to his king, ingrate, self seeker, false kinsman,

and perjured soldier.” The tragedy of Macbeth is that knowing the

murder of Duncan will change his life forever and he understands that

evil turns on the evil doer and that “bloody instruction… return to

plague th’ inventor,” he still goes ahead with the murder. Macbeth is

a flawed character, his frailty is greed and ambition and he becomes

the victim of circumstances beyond his control. A. Quiller. Couch’s

opinion Shakespeare has made Macbeth proceed to his crime “under some

fake hallucination.” The initial image of Macbeth as brave and

courageous is deceptive for it is his weakness, recognized by Lady

Macbeth “yet I do fear...

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determination. Secondly, she is shown as a powerless queen who is no

longer dominant of Macbeth. Thirdly Lady Macbeth is shown as an insane

sleepwalker constantly being shown the crimes of the past and

sufferings they have brought.

In conclusion Malcolm’s description of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth as

“this dead butcher and his fiend like queen” is seen as quite harsh.

Macbeth is tormented by his deeds and he never was to enjoy the crown

that he has taken. We see him as a man who tries to take fate into his

won hands and this action brings him nothing but grief and suffering.

Therefore Macbeth should not be referred to as a butcher. Lady Macbeth

does not deserve such a harsh title as she has committed no murder and

it can be questioned if Malcolm ever saw the confrontation of murder

from Lady Macbeth to Macbeth.

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how malcolm refers to macbeth as "this dead" at the conclusion of the play.
  • Opines that macbeth “yet i do fear thy nature/ it is too full o’ the milk of human
  • Narrates how the man who was “a full o’ man” wanted or needed to confide in his wife.
  • Analyzes how she is seen as a villain as soon as she enters the play as the audience is.
  • Analyzes how we see him as a man who tries to take fate into his own.
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