‘This dead butcher and his fiend-like queen.’ How far was Malcolm justified in the opinion that he has of either Macbeth or Lady Macbeth? What redeeming features have you found in the character you have chosen to write about?
Malcolm was generally justified in saying that Lady Macbeth was a “fiend-like queen”. This is was because she had assumed a role in the plot to kill Macbeth and in the process, expressed a personality so cruel and manipulative that she undoubtedly deserves to be called a fiend.
Firstly, when Macbeth told Lady Macbeth that King Duncan would be going to stay in Inverness to celebrate Macbeth’s victory, she practically pronounced King Duncan dead by saying that “the raven himself is hoarse that croaks the fatal entrance of Duncan under my battlements”. This remark clearly depicts Lady Macbeth as a scheming and cunning woman. Furthermore, she calls upon the spirits to “unsex me here and fill me from the crown to toe, top-full of direst cruelty…Come to my woman’s breasts, and take my milk for gall, you murd’ring ministers, wherever in your sightless substances you wait on nature’s mischief.”. Lady Macbeth reveals that she is prepared, herself, to commit the murder. However, it was her womanhood, represented by breasts and milk, usually symbols of nurture, that impedes her from performing such acts of violence and cruelty, which is commonly associated with manliness. All in all, given that Lady Macbeth did indeed possess such a devious nature is therefore worthy of being called a fiend.
Her fiend-like quality is portrayed again when she taunts Macbeth into killing Duncan when Macbeth gave in to his conscience and wanted to negate the devious plan. When she heard Macbeth in his soliloquy, Lady Macbeth asked him if “the hope was drunk wherein you dressed yourself”. Through clothing imagery, she accused Macbeth of being fickle-minded, not being a man of his words. Adding to it, she asked Macbeth if he was “afeard to be the...