Macbeth as a Tragic Hero - Literary Analysis Essay

Published: 2021-07-05
830 words
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Vanderbilt University
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A multitude of factors contributes to Macbeth being considered as a classic example of a tragic hero. Characteristically, a tragic hero should be figure of a high stature and often of a noble background. The person is predominantly virtuous and upright but suffers a self-wreaking falling out as a result of imperfections in their personality. The tragic hero encounters tremendous ruins, brought up by their own hamartia-a flaw named in tragic heroes y the Aristotle in Poetics. In many respect, Macbeth is the least estimable tragic protagonist in literature. Such characters typically, they have at least have one or more splendid character traits (Bevington). Although one may not like the hero, here is at least something in their situation or character that may draw some attention even if not enough to vindicate their actions.

The hamartia in Macbeth is his ambition. As his ambitions develop as the play progress, it exists erstwhile to the hearing of the divination of the witches. Whereas Shakespeare illustrates Macbeths deep dark desires as ominous, he draws upon the olden context to render Macbeth as a victim of their hurly burly and the necromancers as the instruments of darkness. Additionally, Lady Macbeths clock of evil among other forces conspires to disrupt his moral equilibrium (Moongazer). Typically, the play write suggests that all the three central characters- Lady Macbeth, Macbeth and the witches- in the play correspondingly contributes to the misfortune. At the same time however, he allows the audience a room to determine whom to apportion each of the blame.

In the play Macbeth the Shakespearian characters, the tragic hero, losses life towards the end of the play so that the meaning of what is virtuous can be re-established. Early in the play, he is seen as a man of great stature as he has the title of Thane of Glamis, as prophesied by the three witches and he is ready to take reign as Thane of Cawdor. The title indicates that Macbeth is going up the ranks of the Scottish nobility and thus he is a man of great political importance. This is seen in the act 1 whereas King Duncan addresses him as a variant king worth gentleman and later in the play, as the Worthy Thane (Zandvolt). The manner in which the leaders speak about him indicates the level of honor and respect he has in his country. The king highly speaks with much rectitude about Macbeth oblivious of the destiny he would impose on him. Nonetheless, Macbeth susceptible nature results to him listening to the three witches and Lady Macbeth rather than make own decisions.

Macbeth is a mass assassin, who murders the colleagues, friends, women and children for no ostensible reason other than own desires. However, Macbeth has to be deliberated a hero considering the quality of his mind and his horrible fortitude towards his entire evil business. Ironically, Macbeth had enormous courage in the past but his evil later terrifies him of his inner self. He stands out to that terror and fear that he becomes fixated with taking away his inner torment (Saunders). Considering the motive, his later homicides are motivated by inner torments than the desires for physical security and the political considerations. After Macbeth was told by the three witches haw his future of nobility was so bright in Scotland, his honorable nature was replaced by the by any means necessary altitude. Swaying words from Lady Macbeth, and lust for power leads to Macbeth decision to assassinate King Duncan in sleep. Four different homicides can be attributed to Macbeth in pursuit of protecting his kingship. These flaws see him become a tyrant, and being removed to authority by the Scottish. His bloody actions later haunt him as he fears for his lifer as the Scottish people want him dead. These tragic flaws play a major role towards Macbeths demise when he is finally beheaded by Macduff (Hammersmith).

In conclusion, tragedy is the grave, far-reaching action that instigates pity and fear through the adversities of the tragic hero. In the play, Shakespeare depicts Macbeths lust for power. Initially, he was a loyal and honorable soldier full of milk of human kindness. His vaulting ambition to come to be the king leads to the killing of King Duncan. The hero should not either be vicious or perfectly virtuous but should be noble for the exploit to qualify to be grave. The fall of Macbeth came from the flaws manifested in the errors in his judgments. And therefore in all these ways Macbeth is seen to be the tragic hero with different falls and circumstances surrounding the judgmental defects.

Works Cited

Bevington, David. "Macbeth." Encyclopaedia Britannica (2017): 8.

Hammersmith, James P. "Shakespeare and the Tragic Virtue." Southern Humanities Review. (1990): 259.

Moongazer, Quinnae. "Shaking Her Fell Purpose: Lady Macbeth as Tragic Heroine." Nuclear Unicorn (2012): 26-33.

Saunders, Jen. "Can Lady Macbeth Be Seen as a Tragic Hero?" The Pen and The Pad (2011): 18.

Zandvolt, R. W., Retrospect. "English Studies." Tayor and Francis Online (2008): 27-43.



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