Macbeth: The view from below. Three scenes from Macbeth retold by the minor characters.

Essay by english_summer May 2004

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The Messenger

Of all people in his armies, My Lord Macbeth sends me to deliver a letter! I, who have stood before kings and princes, carried messages and gifts of war or allegiance, who has been trusted with the most sensitive and valuable of commissions, now am reduced to carrying letters home to his wife!

It is a strange relationship My Lord and My Lady have. It goes against nature even, that she should be treated so highly. He consults her in everything he does, writes to her with reports on how the war goes, and even leaves her in command of the castle while he is away.

Look at how she watches me now, over the top of the letter, with vicious gloating eyes. Even I, ill from travelling so great a distance in so few hours, can see it. My Lord's victory must be on her mind. A woman should concern herself with needlework and music, not war and battle.

Something in her eye is disquieting, as if she sees me not, or sees something else in my place. Now she orders me to leave, her tone is harsh and commanding, methinks she puts herself higher than her station, as if she were royalty and not the Lady Macbeth! But what would I know, being just a poor and humble messenger as I am?

The Lord

The banqueting hall looks most fine tonight. Indeed, I may venture to say never have I seen their Majesties looking quite so well as they do, although they have not been their Majesties for very long, so that is not surprising! Ah, look, now the King speaks to us with such kindness, bids us a hearty welcome though I am sure he would much rather us not celebrate so soon after...