But also she could be seen as showing signs of cowardice, for she says ” When Duncan is asleep”, this could be seen as a sign that she does not wish to look Duncan in the eye when they kill him. It can be further argued that if she really was a fearless and uncaring person she would have not waiting for her husband to gain the courage and she would have simply done the deed herself without him.
Lady Macbeth is co-dependent on her husband, without his drive for his own selfish ambition she would not able to manipulate him toward the murder. A fiend from hell would not need someone else to murder for them they would simply do the deed alone, a fiend would not show love for her husband as lady Macbeth does when she says “How tender is thy Love” “such thy account thy love”, she refers to him as “love”. Love is not an emotion displayed by a fiend or demon, thus further doubt can be raised in to her likeness of the fiends and demons of hell.Order now
Further doubts are also raised concerning Macbeths butcher like qualities. A true butcher will stop at nothing to achieve his goal of death, and once his mind has been set on his goal it will not be swayed. Macbeths mind was set on becoming king by any means, but all too soon it was changed by his own doubts and disheartened conscience, and then once again his mind set was swayed within moments of the slightest sign of contempt from his wife. Yet again Macbeth displays a number of cowardly and fearful emotions that, would never cross the face of a butcher.
Later, at the start of Act 2 Scene 1 Macbeth talks with Banquo about the witch’s predictions. He talks with Banquo causally and answers to him as “friend”. Macbeth places on the “mask” as his wife had told him to earlier and creates a wall of deception and deflection in order to conceal his constant thoughts for the witch’s predictions. Macbeth claims “I think not of them”, he is claiming to have not thought of the witches, he then deflects by saying “words upon business” “grant the time”, he tries to change the flow of the convocation away from the witches by asking if they can talk of other matters. You could therefore say that by deflecting from the truth, Macbeth knows that what he doing is wrong.
However after he leaves Banquo and Fleance, Macbeth sees a vision of a dagger floating in front of him, ‘Is this dagger which I see before me, the handle toward my hand? Come, let me clutch thee ‘, Macbeth cannot understand what he is seeing and he is scared, he does not know if it is real, ‘A dagger of the mind, a false creation?’ these disbelieving phrases spoken by Macbeth, show his fear and confusion as he is presented with a image of a dagger. It is covered in blood and is pointing towards him. He believes the dagger is “inviting” him to do the murder. He says, “it is bloody business”, referring to the “Bloody” deed which he is about to commit. This use of the word “Bloody” suggests that he condemns the deed he is about to commit. He hears the sound of a wolf’s howl; this once again throws him off balance.
A once fearless soldier is now tormented by visions of blood and fear of the unknown. “He says the present horror from the time”, the horror seems to break the deadly silence. He fears he is going insane and finally a bell rings and this sound acts like a command signal to Macbeth that the time of the deed is at hand, He says “the bell invites me”, he believes that the bell is a sign that the deed should be done now. He continues on to commit the murder. The raging fear deep within him and his great ambitions driving him to do it. He commits the murder because he is driven by fear and his knowledge that he will there after be king. Thus he is simply a scared and selfish man driven by his own fears and ambitions, not by evil and contempt as his wife is and not by his skill and drive to kill as a butcher would be.
Macbeth can be described as a classic example of a Shakespearean tragic hero. For he has a tragic flaw, his driving ambition coupled with his raging fear and looming doubt expressed throughout the play. This ultimately causes his downfall from status and finally to his death, thus further classifying him as a tragic hero. There are many factors, which contribute to the degeneration of Macbeth. The three points which contribute greatly to Macbeth’s degeneration are the prophecy which was told to him by the witches, If it had not been for the witches telling him that he was to be Thane of Cawdor, Thane of Glamis, and King of Scotland, Macbeth would still have been an ordinary solider.
The prophecies aroused Macbeth’s curiosity of how he could be King of Scotland. As the play progressed, Macbeth slowly began to rely on the witch’s prophecies. Shakespeare uses the witches as a remedy for Macbeth’s curiosity, which corrupts him. Macbeth’s ambition also influenced his moral decline. However, Macbeth’s ambition would have never been strong enough to carry the motive to kill King Duncan, this is where Lady Macbeth’s influence also comes in to play because if not for Lady Macbeth, his ambition would not have intensified enough to drive him to obtain and maintain his title of King of Scotland no matter what it took, even if it meant murdering the previous king.
In conclusion, I have discovered that phrase that condemns Macbeth and lady Macbeth as a ‘Dead butcher and his fiend like queen’ is only a fraction right as far as act 1 scene 7 and act 2 scene 1 are concerned. I believe that even though Macbeth committed the most evil of crimes, regicide, to kill a King. He is not the butcher that the phrase would have us believe. Macbeth constantly battles with his innermost fears and doubts; he cannot maintain his power because his increasingly brutal actions make him hated as a tyrant.
Unlike Shakespeare’s other great villains, such as Iago in Othello and Richard III in Richard III, who revel in their villainy, Macbeth is never comfortable in his role as a criminal. He shows at the beginning of the play that he knows right from wrong, and chooses to do wrong without being able to justify it to himself. He knows the “even hand of justice” and he is scared that his deeds will “plague the inventor”, he believes himself to be the inventor of the bloody deed. Ultimately, he is unable to bear the thought of the consequences of his actions.
Lady Macbeth on the other hand can most defiantly be described as a fiend or demon, she is a woman of strong will who is ambitious for herself and who is astute enough to recognize her husband’s strengths and weaknesses, and ruthless enough to exploit them, she exploits her sexual hold over Macbeth as a means to persuade him to commit murder. She manipulates and preys on the moral conscience of Macbeth.
Unlike her husband, she lacks all humanity, we see her in the opening scenes, calling upon the “Spirits that tend on mortal thoughts” to deprive her of her feminine instinct to care. Lady Macbeth persistently taunts her husband for his lack of courage, even though he is known of his bloody deeds on the battlefield. But in public, she is able to place on a mask and hide her true nature. She uses her female finesse to avoid the gazing eyes of judgment and cruelly twists Macbeth to her will of evil and deceit. Though it may be arguable that Macbeth is evil and his wife is not, there is sufficient argument to counteract this statement as shown my essay.