- Word count: 577
- Category: Macbeth
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All the way through the story of Macbeth, he is shown from the first kill to the last, as an evil and disturbed man. He has obviously been taken over by the opportunity for supreme power and murder has taken over his mind. Lady Macbeth is shown as the persuader and the one who turned Macbeth into the evil man that he ends the story as. During the story, although Lady Macbeth was at the helm of the treason act, her conscience catches up with her and in the end she commits suicide, as she can take no more. This is the worst sides of both characters, so was it fair to give an overall comment as a butcher and his fiend like Queen?
I believe it is. Macbeth started the story off as a national hero, as you see him in the first few pages of the book on the battlefield. Although he was under huge pressure from the coincidence of the witches’ predictions (page 13, the witches quote that Macbeth will go on to become Thane of Cawdor and King of Scotland) coming true and his wife pressuring him, he was still deeply evil to commit the murders. To murder his friends, his king and a friend’s family was a horrific crime and calling him a butcher is as fair as any other words used to describe him. If you think about it though, Macbeth was under a huge amount of pressure.
Before his encounter with the witches, Macbeth was shown to be a great warrior who defended his country with his life. If it hadn’t of been for the witches encounter, Macbeth may have gone on to receive a great title without being greedy and killing to become King. He had already become Thane of Cawdor before he killed Duncan; he could have stayed with this, as it was a great achievement in itself. But the persuasion of the witches and his wife was too much to handle and the hunger for power took over him. So you could say Macbeth was under influence and could not help himself.
So in Macbeth’s defence, you could argue that he was under too much pressure and that he could not resist the opportunity. Macbeth needed a lot of qualities to get into the position he did. His first was his skills in battle that earned him the titles of Thane of Glamis and Thane of Cawdor. Without these, he would never of dreamed of becoming King. Also he had to be a good lier and a good cover up for his actions. Lady Macbeth also helped Macbeth cover up for his actions in parts (Act 3 Scene 4, Macbeth struggles to cope with what he has done but Lady Macbeth covers up for him saying he is not well).
He acted very shocked after all the murders had taken place as if he knew nothing about them and was as upset as everyone else had. Without these qualities, Macbeth would have been caught a lot earlier. Lady Macbeth was a key part of Macbeth’s treason act. She was the one who persuaded him to kill Duncan. If Macbeth had resisted this persuasion, none of the murders would have happened. But Lady Macbeth paid the price. Her conscience caught up with her and punished her for her evilness and in the end drove her to suicide (page 175, the doctor reports to Macbeth that his wife has taken her own life).