*Towards the end of the play Malcolm describes Macbeth and Lady Macbeth as “this dead butcher and his fiend like Queen”. To what extent is this a* fair assessment of the pair?
Even though Macbeth would love to be king, he does not want to become king by killing Duncan. He doesn’t want to kill him because he is his king and is still quite loyal to him. Macbeth is the host and it is his duty to protect him while he is in his castle. This shows us that Macbeth is not an evil man at the start of the play even though he does have some evil thoughts he is unable to carry these out. If he were evil then his relationship and duty to the king would not deter him from murdering Duncan:
"First, as I am his kinsman and his subject, strong both against the deed; then, as his host, who should against his murderer shut the door, not bear the knife myself."
Lady Macbeth predicts that Macbeth will be affected by his conscience which will prevent him from committing the deed. This could be the big turning point, as this is the beginning of Macbeth being seen as a “butcher”, which has mostly been spurred on by his wife Lady Macbeth:
"Hie thee hither, that I may pour my spirits in thine ear, and chastise with the valour of my tongue all that impedes thee from the golden round."
Even though Lady Macbeth is supportive of Macbeth and she persuades him to kill Duncan, she does not force him to do it Macbeth decides to kill Duncan himself with ambition as his influence. This is a sign of Macbeth showing his “butcher” side of himself.
After murdering Duncan, He is very nervous and frightened. He forgets to place the dagger where he was meant to and is too afraid to go back and fix the problem. Macbeth wants to wash his hands of all that’s gone on but he fears it is impossible, there is no turning back. He regrets killing Duncan, wishing to wake up from this horrible dream.
"Wake Duncan with thy knocking! I would thou couldst!"
Not too long after the murder...