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Was Macbeth a Tragic Hero?

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❶In conclusion, the prophecies given to him by the witches, Lady Macbeth's influence and plan, and his intensified ambition, all contributed greatly to his degeneration of character which resulted to his downfall

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He achieved many things to a certain extent; he passed and failed at times but never gave up. Although Macbeth fails to meet quite a few characteristics of a tragic hero, his most important awareness of his own tragic flaw is what solemnly makes him a tragic hero. At the beginning of this play Macbeth is a substantial Scottish general and thane of Glamis. Following an important battle three witches tell Macbeth that he will become the Thane of Cawdor and the King of Scotland.

When Macbeth is granted Cawdor by the King Duncan, he takes the witches words for veracity and schemes against King Duncan with his wife. The thought of more power sounded astonishing to Macbeth, which triggered his tragic flaws.

Macbeth and his wife overcome the task to kill the king and Macbeth becomes King of Scotland. Macbeth then senses threat from a noble friend of his named Banquo. He hires 2 murderers to kill Banquo. He also succeeds in this assignment. Finally, because Macbeth the protagonist does not fulfill all of the characteristics of the tragic hero as Aristotle explained in his essay he Macbeth cannot be considered a tragic hero. Macbeth is neither all good nor all evil, is an important influential person in society, and has a hamartia which is greed and it leads to his tragic fall.

He becomes Thane of Cawdor rightfully but it is not enough for him. He becomes greedy for more and murders the king for the throne. However, Macbeth does not gain wisdom through his suffering. He does not learn a lesson for his losses and thus he does not reach the tragic status of the tragic hero. A tragic hero is a character that has a flaw. This flaw sets off a series of events that lead to the tragic hero's downfall or utter ruin.

Macbeth's tragic flaw is his ambition. He becomes Thane of Cawdor but once he hears the witches' apparitions he instantly wants to become King.

His ambition is never satisfied. He always wants more than he already has. Macbeth sacrifices his reputation, relationships, honor, life, and his mind just to have power. His ambition leads to his ruin which is his death by Banquo. It'd be of some interest to compare Richard and Macbeth. According to a critic, "Richard is a villain that becomes a hero" whereas Macbeth is "a hero that becomes a villain.

Consequently, Macbeth is a truly tragic hero. Nevertheless, Macbeth has also been said to be "a statement of evil". So, Macbeth is far from being a tragic hero that corresponds to the Aristotelian definition, which is based on "pity and fear". We do not feel that he does not deserve his fate. We are not sympathetic, we do not feel any pity.

The pitiable state Lady Macbeth is in makes her a truly Aristotelian tragic character, but not Macbeth. The roles have been reversed at the end. Maybe, the only way we can consider Macbeth as a truly tragic character is when we keep associating him with Lady Macbeth, because of the sexual desire she aroused. It is the "dead butcher like Richard and the fiend-like Queen", V. His downfall was because of his own pride. Macbeth didn't see it but he died because he believed that he would never die.

Macbeth's character progressed through the drama, starting as an ambitious, insecure, yet promising individual for King Duncan, and the entire country of Scotland. He is recently appointed to the position of Thane of Cawdor, and is given recognition for his bravery on the battlefield.

It is first the witches' prophecies that taint Macbeth's mind with the desire for power. This prediction is the root of all of Macbeth's evil. Macbeth can be truly classified as a tragic hero after interpreting Aristotle's definition and applying it to Macbeth's character. Throughout the play, Macbeth is seen as an out of control ranging mad man that is out to achieve his grievous self indulging ambitions. In the long run he struggles, but cannot fight the inevitability of his demise.

Ladt macbeth words " your heart is not red as wine but as white as lillies"He really didn't want to be appeare as coward because he was not coward or afraid but he knew well that king is a kind and lovable person by all and king has also been done many goods to macbeth as well. In this way Macbeth s character changes from noble man to violent and power hunger person.

Next we see that how he become cruel , violent , greedy for power that he thinks to remain the king of scotland he have to assassinate one more person banquo. So he made a plan and told to Lady macbeth. So in different stages we see How the personaliry of macbeth changes from hero to villian and his downfall become because of his own evil deeds.

Macbeth is represented as a tragic hero because his ambition leads to his downfall. Though he was a very valient warrior and of the most favourite Thane,but he drifted from his path of good deed on listening to the prophecy of the witches. Aristotle's concept of tragic hero is that the change in fate of the hero from good to bad due to his own follies,hence Macbeth's ambition is the result of his upturned destiny.

Hence he can be regarded as a tragic hero. The ancient Greek dramatists defined a tragic hero as one whom we, the audience, perceive to be better that any one of us but who, through his tragic flaw, or hubris, falls from grace and becomes a pariah. Macbeth's flaw is his "vaulting ambition", as he himself admits. By killing Duncan and Banquo and everyone else who stands in his way he secures his position as a villain. Macbeth has the main role in macbeth. He has some great hero-like qualities which get him a higher post in the beginning of the play, for example bravery and leadership.

A tragic hero is a hero who has some qualities or imperfections that lead to a tragic ending of his life, causing him to lose about everything. One such quality in macbeth is his gullibleness. He is persuaded too easily by his wife, which then causes him to commit all those bad deeds and murders.

What redeem Macbeth from becoming a villainous murderer and makes him a tragic hero instead are two factors chiefly:.

As a result of the prophecies, this aroused Macbeth's curiosity of how he could be King of Scotland. As the play progresses, Macbeth slowly relies on the witches prophecies.

Shakespeare uses the witches as a remedy for Macbeth's curiosity which corrupts his character. The influence of Macbeth's wife, Lady Macbeth also contributed to his degeneration of character. Lady Macbeth's character in the beginning reveals that she is a lovable person. When Lady Macbeth was ready to kill King Duncan herself, it showed that Lady Macbeth could not murder King Duncan because he reminded her of her father.

This proves that Lady Macbeth has a heart deep inside her. Lady Macbeth plays an important role in this play because she provided a scheme which caused Macbeth to assassinate King Duncan. After Macbeth had killed King Duncan, he later regrets on his wrong doing. At the point of this play the audience can note the change in Macbeth's character. Macbeth is a tragic hero because he has a flaw i. The error in his character is his innordinate ambition of becoming king which blinded him to all voices of reason until he "murdered sleep" and could sleep no more.

The three points which contribute greatly to Macbeth's degeneration are the prophecy which was told to him by the witches, how Lady Macbeth influenced and manipulated Macbeth's judgment, and finally Macbeth's long time ambition which drove his desire to be king.

No doubt Macbeth is a hero. As long as he trusts his sword, he remains a hero. A woman and three witches wreck his life. It is really tragic for an icon of a man to be cowed by women. But in male company, though an adversary like Macduff, he regains his valour. Though his death is not a tragedy but a welcome relief in the case of such a noble character, his fall from a high pedestal following Duncan's murder till his final revival of glory in the battlefield is matter of tragic proportions.

Hence, Macbeth is indeed a tragic hero. Macbeth is a tragic hero as he goes from being of high standard or a noble to being nothing in context of character because he kills the king of Scotland in being highly ambitious which was not checked by principles.

He was a tragic hero because he had a tragic flaw in his character which caused his downfall. From being a noble he went to being nothing. In macbeth we see in act 1 that the very first time when he meets the weird sisters in the darken heath,he is extremely curious when he hears their prophesy on contrary to banquo. In fact the prophesy would never have come true if macbeth had not acted in that way as voldemort does in hp.

What makes Macbeth a tragic hero is the fact that he started off as a nobleman who was well loved and then ended up having a whole army against him. What also makes him tragic is his poetic imagination and the way he expresses his feeling to the audience in his soliloquys. According to Aristotle, at the basis of the hero's fall there is flaw which is called hamartia the tragic flaw and the hero in unable to resist to his excessive pride hubris.

And as a result he fall into his own doom. His curiosity took him towards his own destruction which is definitely a sign of downfall. It was written for the entertainment of, the recently crowned, James I. James had a well documented fascination with witchcraft and had himself written books on the subject of witches. Obviously, James' Scottish heritage is also being utilised.

Shakespeare was appealing to things that he knew would please the King. Interestingly Macbeth is based, at least in part, in fact. There was a real King of Scotland named Macbeth. He, however, ruled successfully for a comparatively long time in the context of the period. This again could be said to be an attempt to flatter the new monarch. Macbeth is the titular character of the famous Shakespearean play. A tragic character is one who begins the play as an important, if not the most important and best figure.

Through his own mistakes, however, he is brought to the lowest point. Macbeth is a respected noble who meets his end due to his own ambition. The character of Macbeth by Shakespeare is a classic example of a victim of destiny and he is also responsible for his own demise. There are many influences that contribute to the collapse of Macbeth. If it were not for this prophesies, Macbeth would have still been his ordinary self and not sought out to achieve his prophesies. As a result of the prophecies, Macbeth's curiosity of how he could be King of Scotland arose.

Throughout the play, Macbeth slowly depends on the witches prophecies. Macbeth's wife, Lady Macbeth also contributed to his collapse of character.

Lady Macbeth's character appears to be a loving person in the beginning of the play. Her character changed when she was ready to kill King Duncan herself. Lady Macbeth could not murder King Duncan because he reminded her of her father, who still showed love, but also that greed was taking over her too. Lady Macbeth plays a big influence in this play because she organized the scheme which caused Macbeth to assassinate King Duncan. Therefore, Macbeth was introduced to the concept of murder by Lady Macbeth.

Macbeth's determination also influenced his declining character. However, Macbeth's determination to fulfill prophesies had not been strong enough to kill King Duncan. His determination would not have been exaggerated enough to obtain and maintain his title of King of Scotland if it had not been for Lady Macbeth. Macbeth's determination influenced the source of his new character. This new character of Macbeth contained greed and violence. In conclusion, the prophecies given to him by the witches, Lady Macbeth's influence and plan to kill the King, and his strengthened determination, all contributed to his collapse of character which made him responsible for his own demise.

He struggled all through play with his conscience. Being pretty much called a wimp by Lady Macbeth, he just gave in. Although he did terrible things, if he had followed his moral compass, he could have earned his place on the throne. That struggle between ambition and honor caused him to be a tragic hero. Macbeth is a tragic hero and the beginning praise by Duncan about his military skills proves it.

So yes, the methods and ideas are from his own mind, but what do we see throughout Macbeth? We see a man, once noble and honorable, praised by the king, a cousin of him as well, suddenly sell his humanity to ambition.

I have no spur To prick the sides of my intent, but only Vaulting ambition, which o'erleaps itself And falls on the other. He knows what he's doing and he's in full control, but we see the struggle in his eloquent poetry. We see the conflict between his moral self and his ambition. Ambition wins out, and Macbeth embraces immorality. It was his superstition that made him so unquestioningly the promises of the apparitions and rest so easily assured.

It was all his superstitions that made him cling to his belief in these promises when circumstances became difficult. This was also seen with Banquo's ghost at the banquet. Macbeth loved his wife very much. At the beginning of the play she participated avidly in his life and he informed her of everything that was going on for example he sent her a letter telling her of the witches' prophecies.

He widely accepted her advice and ideas and they were both avid partners in the murder of Duncan. At the end, he was so weary from everything that was going on that when he received the news of his wife's death he accepted it with only a yearning resignation.

Macbeth's whole story after Duncan's murder was one of continuous character deterioration. Once he had begun his life of crime he became further and further detached from his wife to the point where she had lost all control over him.

Macbeth started as a courageous and brave general who loved his wife very much. But because of the faults that must accompany every tragic hero, he was led to his ruin by his overwhelming ambition, superstition and moral cowardice.

Macbeth changed from a noble hailed as the savior of his country, a "valiant cousin," a "worthy gentleman," to a man of boundless cruelty. So we can say that his sky high ambition causes his damnation. Rajibul Hasan at Newer Post Older Post Home.


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Shakespeare's basis for Macbeth as a tragic hero could have followed the classical tradition e.g. the story of Oedipus, who is shown as a tragic hero in his own story, .

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Shakespeare's Macbeth - A Tragic Hero Essay - Macbeth: A Tragic Hero The Macbeth character in Macbeth by William Shakespeare can be played many ways. Macbeth's relationship with other characters in the play and Aristotle's theory of a tragedy are ways in which Macbeth is shown as a tragic hero.

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Essay on Macbeth and Tragic Hero Words | 5 Pages Macbeth, a tragedy written by William Shakespeare in the 17th century, expresses clearly the strong pull . Macbeth as a Tragic Hero The role of a tragic hero is commonplace in many of Shakespeare’s works. The character of Macbeth is a classic example of a Shakespearean tragic hero. There are a multitude of factors that contribute to Macbeth being labelled as a tragic hero.

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The Epidemic Of a Tragic Hero Macbeth is a very tragic story. Three witches tell Macbeth that he will become the thane of Cawdor, the thane of glams and will also become the king. Macbeth overcomes and fails throughout this story to try and make these prophesies reality. MacBeth - Tragic Hero The character of Macbeth is a classic example of a Shakespearean tragic hero. There are many factors which contribute to the degeneration of Macbeth of which three will be discussed.