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A Shakesperean Tragic Hero Macbeth

1248 words - 5 pages

A Shakespearean tragic hero may be defined as “an exceptional being of high degree” who contributes to his own degeneration and illustrates a personality flaw. The character of Shakespeare’s Macbeth is in all ways the perfect example of a tragic hero. His greatness and bravery in battle for his country ultimately leads him to be a great thane and eventually a powerful king, making his actions have a significant impact on a country. Macbeth’s ambition on becoming a king leads to an obsession to remain in his current position. His ambition comes to a point where he falls to the temptation of evil which leads to Macbeth’s inevitable downfall. There are many factors which contribute to the fall of Macbeth. The three points which contribute greatly to Macbeth's fall 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. Macbeth's growing character degenerates from a noble man to a violent individual. He is very ambitious, courageous, and a moral coward: all of these things lead to his tragic death at the end of the play.

The prophecies which were told by the witches were one of the factors which contributed to the fall of his character. If it had not been for the witches telling him that he was to be Thane of Cawdor, Thane of Glamis, and King of Scotland, Macbeth would still be his ordinary self. As a result of the prophecies, this aroused Macbeth's curiosity of how he could be King of Scotland. The witches who symbolized Macbeth’s evil ambitions put his thoughts into actual words. 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 fall 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's first murder was a trying experience for him, however after the first murder, killing seemed to be the only solution to maintain his reign of the people of Scotland. Therefore, it was Lady Macbeth who introduced the concept of murder to Macbeth.

Macbeth's ambition also influenced his declining character. However, Macbeth's ambition had not been strong enough to carry the motive to kill King Duncan. Lady Macbeth's influence also comes in to play because if not for Lady Macbeth, his ambition would...

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