Analysis of Macbeth by William Shakespeare

829 Words4 Pages
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 frailty.” 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... ... middle of paper ... ... and 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.
Open Document