"This dead butcher and his fiend-like queen-:.
Is Malcolm's remark a fair assessment of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth?.
Malcolm's remark could be seen as a fair description of the two characters, but only taken from their point of view. To them, Macbeth had lost all morals when it came to killing and committing crimes: The very firstlings of my heart shall be the firstlings of my hand'. Lady Macbeth was seen as evil, and all too ready to lie and deceive and cover up Macbeth's mistakes: If much you note him you shall offend him'- a clever way of trying to make people take no notice of things he would say that could incriminate him of Duncan's murder (she did not know of Banquo's yet). .
Macbeth's rule was that of violence and chaos: Men must not walk too late'. He brought the way that he had lead before hand, as a warrior, into the ruling of the country, with fear and strength, confusing his people: we hold rumour from what we fear, yet know not what to fear'. His subjects and other countrymen come to know him as a tyrant, rather than the brave and noble warrior he once was. They all begin to see that it was he who had killed the gracious Duncan', and so see him as evil. This is as kings were thought to be divinely appointed, and so to kill them is to go against God. They lose the image of the great warrior he once was, and see him as a butcher', whose sole name blisters our tongues'.
His tyranny has corrupted the country, with people afraid to speak against him in case he had agents in their company. This is a sign of Macbeth's insecurity. He kills those who seem against him, such as Banquo, and Macduff's family: 'Tis safer to be that which we destroy than by destruction dwell in doubtful joy' - it is better to be the one who is killed than to live in such insecurity because they have killed him. .
The other characters have a right to see them as such, evil and corrupted, for they have committed many crimes.