Macbeth and Lady Macbeth as Evil Murderers in William Shakespeare's Play
At the start of this play Macbeth is mentioned by witches which
doesn’t give him credibility with the audience, whilst soon after
Macbeth is seen as a brave, loyal and trustworthy servant of his king,
Duncan. Almost as soon as the play starts, you hear of Macbeth’s
bravery; “Brave Macbeth-well he deserves that name…Like Valour’s
minion.” But soon after he has his meeting with the witches he is
already scheming; “This supernatural soliciting cannot be ill.”
One of the central points of this play is the question of whether or
not Macbeth would have become so evil if he had not met the witches.
In my opinion Macbeth would have remained as he originally was.
By the end of the play his only redeeming features left are those of
bravery and remorse. He realises that he is about to die and refuses
to surrender to Macduff and face ridicule. This shows his pride, but
he also doesn’t fear his death; “Lay on, Macduff, and damned be him
that first cries, ‘Hold, enough.’”
Macbeth knows that he is about to die as soon as he sees Birnam Forest
on the move, and resigns himself to death, musing on the futility of
life; “Life is but a walking shadow.”
He does however, seem remarkably callous about the death of his wife,
remarking; “She should have died hereafter,” which is a far cry from
the love he holds for her at the start of the play in his letter to
her; “My dearest partner of greatness.” This shows just how much
Macbeth has changed since the beginning of the play.
He realises that as soon as he killed Duncan, he would have started
down an evil road that he would never be able to return along, and to
secure his position he would just have to keep on murdering those who
could prove a problem to him. Macbeth even has his best friend
murdered, but, uncharacteristically baulks at doing the deed himself
and hires others to complete his dirty work for him, which also
involves murdering a 10-year-old boy, Banquo’s son. However, the news
of the escape of Fleance shakes Macbeth to the core.
Later on in the play, Macbeth has Macduff’s entire family murdered out
of spite for Macduff, which seems very brutal even by Macbeth’s
One thing I did notice to be consistent throughout the play was the
deterioration of both Macbeth’s and Lady Macbeth’s mental condition.
This all starts about the time of the murder of Duncan, when Macbeth
sees a mysterious dagger leading him towards Duncan’s chamber, and
becomes even more apparent after the murder of Banquo, when Macbeth
sees an apparition of Banquo, covered in blood. This could be his
conscience. Lady Macbeth also begins to hallucinate and picture her
hands covered in blood whilst she still sleeps. There is a lot of
such bloody and violent imagery...