I do agree with the statement made by Malcolm describing his view of Macbeth and his wife; however, only at the time it was said. Therefore I will precisely describe the characteristics of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth to show that they are not just evil and that they do have some positive aspects. Nevertheless Macbeth and Lady Macbeth’s demise were their own faults. At the start of the play the statement is incorrect as Macbeth is loyal to his king and he loves his wife very much.
Macbeth is very courageous as he carves a passage through the first army to reach the enemy leader Macdonwald and decapitates him: “Till he unseamed him from the nave to the chaps,” (1. 2) showing his ferociousness and his loyalty to the king. Straight after that Macbeth shows his bravery by rushing off to fight the Norwegian army that has just landed. King Duncan shows his gratitude to Macbeth: “More is thy due than more than all can pay. ” (1. 4). The witches are introduced in the dark, wet moors of Scotland muttering under their breath.
He meets the witches the first time by chance and is astounded that they know of his secret that he wants to be king (even his closest friend does not know) and that he is to be Thane of Cawdor without being first notified. This tells us that these things are not normal and we should be wary of them. In this third scene of the first act, Macbeth has not shown any signs of being evil although he has once thought of being king, which hints to us that there will be interesting events to come.
Macbeth believes what the witches say because the first prophecy came true: “Hail to thee, Thane of Cawdor! ” (1. 3) when Rosse and Angus tell him the news of his new title so has proof that the witches know the future. From here on, the witches’ words ring in his head. He writes to his wife about what the witches said and she pounces on the chance of becoming queen. They plan to kill the king but Lady Macbeth does not think her husband has it in him: “It is too full o’the milk of human kindness” (1. 5).
She still loves him but recognises his weaknesses. Lady Macbeth shows ambition from the start. She also has the stronger will and personality. When Duncan is invited to Macbeth’s castle, Lady Macbeth tries to persuade him to kill the king then but he is disturbed and says: “We will speak further. ” (1. 5). At this stage Macbeth is showing loyalty to the king so it is wrong to say that he is a butcher. Also Lady Macbeth is taking the lead: “O! Never shall sun the morrow see! ” Macbeth’s only incentive is ambition: “I have no spur” (1. ) but is still hesitant: “If we should fail. ” Macbeth is showing compassion towards the king by making excuses to prolong the murder: “He’s here in double trust,” meaning there are two reasons why he should be trusted: “First, I am his kinsman and his subject,” and “then, as his host. ” He is trying to tell Lady Macbeth that ‘he made me the Thane of Cawdor’ and also ‘I am the host’ so he has no reason to doubt me. This makes Lady Macbeth annoyed and irritated, not fuming with rage, as she still loves him.
However, she perseveres and showing her ruthlessness, plans a deadly plot for the king: “His two chamberlains will I with wine and wassail so convince,” and will blame the murder on the guards as well. Lady Macbeth is showing ambition but at the same time will not be disloyal to her husband. Lady Macbeth is showing some ruthless qualities. Because Macbeth is acting like a coward: “I’ll go no more” (2. 2), Lady Macbeth takes it into her own hands: “Infirm of purpose! Give me the daggers. ”
She thinks it is easy as drinking a cup of tea as she then says: “Retire we to our chamber. When the king’s death has been discovered, Lady Macbeth pretends to show surprise at what has happened: “What’s the business” (2. 3) although she knows what the shout of dismay was for. Her ambition shows when she takes drastic measures to stop the truth revealing. It also shows love for her husband when he slips up: “That did kill them ,” Lady Macbeth steps in and pretends to faint to stop the questioning of Macbeth. This tells us she can think quickly on her feet, is cunning, ambitious, and loves Macbeth.
As a result of the king’s death, his two sons flee so the murderers can not strike twice in quick secsession. Act 2 scene 4 follows the death of the king. As the king’s sons have escaped to England and Ireland, there is a vacuum like atmosphere in the castle so Macbeth immediately seizes the opportunity to be in control. Pathetic fallacy is used in this scene to demonstrate what goes on in the world echoes the happenings in the castle. It is suggested that the nature is reflecting the murder of the king with foolish weather and strange animal behaviour: “Was by a mousing owlhawked at and killed. (2. 4). It is odd that an owl kills a falcon but likewise are the events in the castle. Macbeth realises in order to be king, suspicious Banquo has to die as he knows too much: “Thou has it now,” (3. 1) and thinks it is wrong for him to pass it on to his descendants. For Macbeth to kill Banquo, he needs to know where he will be so asks three subtle but clever questions to find out: “Ride you this afternoon? “, “Is it far you ride? “, and “Goes Fleance with you? ” Banquo does not tell Macbeth the detail so Macbeth has to follow him.
He is acting like a butcher if he is willing to kill his best friend and son. Macbeth is showing power and leadership: “I will advise you where to plant yourselves. ” He is also showing independence: “Be innocent of the knowledge. ” (3. 2) since he is acting without Lady Macbeth. Macbeth later hears the news that Banquo protected Fleance so had escaped. During the banquet Macbeth is scared as he sees the ghost of Banquo which scares him greatly. Lady Macbeth shows composure and calms him down by talking sense into him so the feast is not ruined: “Quite unmanned in folly? (3. 4). Macbeth gathers himself together but nearly collapses the second time which ruins the meal and takes all the energy out of his wife. The speech by Lennox in act 3 scene 6 illustrates Macbeth’s heartlessness: “Our suffering country. ” (3. 6). It is suggested that if you know Macbeth, you could end up dead: “Advise him to a caution” which also shows he is dangerous. Macbeth is anxious and worried about the future so he travels to the witches, which shows he is willing to side with evil. The end of the banquet is the crossover point in strength.
Lady Macbeth down spirals in strength and motivation whereas Macbeth increases in power and his killing is more frequent. It is as if Lady Macbeth has been running around patching leaks but the energy is now seeping out of her. Macbeth has fed off her enthusiasm and is now autonomous. There is immediate truth in the predictions, reinforcing Macbeth’s willingness to trust the witches: “Macduff is fled. ” (4. 1). Macbeth was aware that Macduff had always been suspicious of him, so he acts spontaneously to murder his family: “The castle of Macduff I will surprise. This shows how brutal Macbeth is if he is willing to kill women and children who are not part of the war. Scotland is in awful trouble if only a messenger can tell Lady Macbeth that trouble is arriving but cannot do anything about it. In contrast to Scotland, England is a safe place as both Malcolm and Macduff are seeking refuge there. There is a battle of good versus bad; Edward the Confessor is preserver of life whereas Macbeth is taking life away. The news of Macduff’s slaughtered family adds more misery to Scotland and lands itself in more trouble, as Macduff wants to avenge his family.
Eventually, Lady Macbeth cannot deal with anymore stress. She spills the bad deeds committed while sleep walking and attempts to remove the blood from her hands: “Out, damned spot! ” (5. 1) which is not like how she started at the beginning of the play: strong minded and ambitious but now she needs to seek help from a priest to confess: “More needs she the divine. ” as she is spiritually ill. Although it is clear at this stage of the play, Macbeth is acting with evil, he is not a coward but courageous: “I’ll fight, till from my bones my flesh be hacked. ” (5. 3).
At the end he still shows love for his wife so cannot be wholly a bad person: “How does your patient, doctor? ” Also, with Lady Macbeth unwell, Macbeth can still take control of situation. He shows his independence when organising the doctor and Seyton under limited time as the army raised by Macduff approaches. As the play approaches its climax, Macbeth is determined not to show any signs of vulnerability although the end is near and he knows it: “But, bear-like, I must fight the course. ” (5. 7) Eventually Macbeth was defeated by the prophecy: “None of woman born shall harm Macbeth” (4. ) but died fighting, against Macduff, till the end showing bravery.
Lady Macbeth died too: “Took off her life” (5. 9) as she could not cope with her terrifying deeds. In the end Scotland has become a safer place and a positive life can be looked forward to with the return of the people that fled. Macbeth started off as a brave warrior but with the help of Lady Macbeth, showing him what he can achieve, turned him into a brave warrior who can be dominant and ruthless. Lady Macbeth started ambitious but ultimately could not cope with the strain of supporting Macbeth.