Malcolm refers to Macbeth as a “dead butcher”. A butcher feels no emotion when hacking, or chopping meat; a butcher may hold a bloody knife, he may relish what he does and has no emotion or regrets, because this is his job. This implies that the manner in which Macbeth has killed is thoughtless. and shows no emotion Malcolm says this at the end of the play when Macbeth has been killed; he makes this statement because Macbeth murdered his father and others. Malcolm has used a metaphor here when describing Macbeth as “this dead butcher”. We can hold Macbeth responsible for the physical murders he has done, we can also hold him responsible for the mental killings planned. In order to decide how far I agree with this description I will examine the murders Macbeth is responsible for and his attitude towards them.Order now
At the beginning of the play we hear about Macbeth before we see him, her is referred to as a brave, bloody, valiant fighter. He is deemed as a hero by his king and soldiers, “for brave Macbeth well he deserve that name “, this tells us the audience that Macbeth is a good and loyal worrier. We also read about Macbeth as a bloody killer on the battle field, whilst they were fighting against the Norwegians and how savagely and brutally he killed the traitor, Macdonald, “till he unseemed him from the nave to th’chaps, and fixed his head upon our battlements”, Macbeth is intrigued and wants to know more, “stay you imperfect speakers tell me more” bonquo on the other hand is not intrigued by there prophecy he does not think about their prophecy until a messenger comes from the king making him than of Cowdor.
The seed of ambition has been planted into Macbeths mind soon after when King Duncan makes Malcolm his son, prince of Cumberland, Macbeth starts to think that this is an obstacle in his way, “on which I must fall down or else… for in my way it lies… stars hide your fires, let not light see my block and deep”, he implies that murdering Duncan would be like a dream fantasy, he is shocked with what he is thinking.
Before the killing of Duncan, Macbeth weighs up the reason for and against, “if I’m going to do it I’d better do it quickly… if my plan goes wrong what ever happens after is worth it… Hosts don’t kill their guest, they should protect them… Duncan is a good king it seams unfair to kill him… it all could go wrong and comeback to haunt me, “these are reasons not to kill Duncan or not, he has more reasons not to kill Duncan.
At the end of his monologue he has decided that it is only his ambition motivating him and decides to proceed no further in the business, lady Macbeth holds him to his vow to kill Duncan, telling him “when you durst do it, then you were a man.”, then you were a man.”, refers to him as a coward, here she is attacking his man hood. Macbeth asks her, “If we should fail”, Macbeth is weak against his wife; her soul purpose is to change his mind. At the end of Act 1 sc 7 Macbeth has decided that he is going to go through with the murder, “I am settled and bend up each corporal agent to this terrible feat”.
Act 2 banquo is weary and yet does not want to sleep, he feels uncomfortable and is laid with a burden. “A heavy summons lies like lead upon me”, and yet I would not sleep…Macbeth whilst talking to banquo, acts like lady Macbeth told him to, “look like the innocent flower but be the serpent under it”. The murder he feels sorry and regret. “This is a sorry sight… I’m afraid to think what I have done”, metaphorically thinks that he has murdered sleep, here he is not butcher like because he knows what he has done wrong, and feels regret.
When Lady Macbeth and Macbeth have a dialogue Shakespeare makes this very jumpy to show how nervous they are, Lady Macbeth “go get some water and wash this filthy witness from your hand”. If Macbeth was not married to Lady Macbeth would have committed the murder? Straight after this murder, when Macduff sees the king dead he is afraid to speak of it, “Do not bid me speak, see and than speak your selves”. When Macbeth enters along with Lady Macbeth bonquo Donald Bain and Malcolm, Macbeth instantly butcher like kills the two guards who were drugged by Lady Macbeth; he does this so that the guards looked like the ones who killed King Duncan. We cannot say Macbeth is butcher like here because he feels sorry and regret after wards.