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this dead butcher Is Malcolms final judgement of Macbeth an accurate epitaph I would argue that the phrase this dead butcher would seem fully justified to describe a king who has caused the deaths of so many innocent people but is an over-simple and rash judgement by Malcolm in his emotional circumstances I would suggest that the label moral coward would be a more suitable title for Macbeth and his attempts to divorce himself from his murderous deeds When Macbeth chooses ambition over his conscience it is the cataclysmic event in the play that adds excitement and tension to the play but for Macbeth to fulfil this ambition he needs evil For Macbeth evil and ambition come hand in hand because he needs to be evil to kill Duncan in order to achieve his ambition They can be separate but Macbeth uses them in an immoral way I would then propose that Macbeth is not completely a butcher but more of a moral coward This is demonstrated by his attempts to cover his deeds through darkness and by divorcing himself from the murders The dramatic unity of the play is complete when Macbeth puts on his armour before going into battle This image of clothing is a recurring theme that has special relevance to Macbeth When he gets his armour back it shows that has returned to the good noble Macbeth that he heard of at the start of the play his armour is his natural clothing because he has been a soldier all of his life The removal of his borrowd robes emphasises the dramatic unity The idea of borrowd robes reinforces the fact that the robes of kingship do not fit him because they are not rightfully his A stereotypical view of a butcher would be a person with venomous red eyes with a grand silver carving knife shining under the moonlight but another aspect many people associate with
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