This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Macbeth: Not A Hero Essay

1185 words - 5 pages

What makes a hero a hero? By definition, a hero display courage in adverse situations and who are willing to self-sacrifice in positions of weakness. Based on this definition, the character of Macbeth is not a hero but a man whose lust for power led to his own destruction and take opposition against Ian Johnston’s Introduction to Macbeth. I believe that the character of Macbeth in Shakespeare’s tragedy Macbeth is not a hero because he was responsible for killing Duncan, murdered people on unjustified grounds, and was the cause of his own demise
In Johnston’s lecture he says that Macbeth cannot be held accountable for the death of Duncan. The lecture says, “His (Macbeth) imagination has committed him to evil before his conscious mind realizes that the decision has been made.” The lecture further breaks down the state of Macbeth’s mind and exactly how Duncan’s death occurs. Johnson makes a good point on Macbeth’s mental behavior, but it should also be said that he agreed to kill Duncan before he even entered the room. In Act 2 scene 1 Macbeth says, “I go and it is done. The bell invites me/ Hear it not, Duncan, for it is a knell/ That summons thee to heaven or to hell.” He has come to consensus that he will kill Duncan and that his soul will face the entrance of heaven or hell. I am certain of Macbeth’s obvious consent to killing Duncan. Later in that act, after Duncan’s death, Macbeth goes to see his wife to tell her that Duncan is dead. They then begin to discuss the all the incidents that occurred after his death, like the owl hooting. Macbeth tells his wife, “Methought I heard a voice cry “Sleep no more!/Macbeth does murder sleep”- the innocent sleep,/ Sleep that knits up the raveled sleave of care,/ The death of each day’s life, sore labor’s bath,/ Balm of hurt minds, great nature’s second course,/ Chief nourisher in life’s feast.” Macbeth’s tirade about his murder of sleep shows that part of him has died along with Duncan. I think that if he truly did not want to kill his beloved cousin, then he wouldn’t have regardless of his wife’s influence. His conscious should have recognized the moral peril he faced. Because killing Duncan killed a part of Macbeth and transformed him into murderous tyrant.
As the play progresses, Macbeth, without the aid of anyone, continues to kill people like Banquo who is supposedly his best friend. At the beginning of Act 3 Banquo says, “Thou hast it now – King, Cawdor, Glamis, all/ As the Weird Women promised, and I fear/ Thou (Macbeth) played’st most foully for’t”. Banquo fears that Macbeth murdered Duncan and because he and his son were a liability to Macbeth’s throne, he hires contract killers to have them murdered. Later in the first scene of Act 3 Macbeth is talking to the hired murderers about his plans for Banquo and Fleance. He tells them, “I will advise you where to plant yourselves,/ Acquaint you with the perfect spy o’ th’ time,/ The moment on ‘t, for ‘t must be done tonight/ And something from the...

Find Another Essay On Macbeth: Not A Hero

Macbeth as a tragic hero Essay

696 words - 3 pages Macbeth the Tragic hero "I go, and it is done; the bell invites me. Hear it not, Duncan, for it knell that summons thee to heaven, or to hell." This is a quote from Shakespeare's play Macbeth. The quote symbolizes Macbeth turning to the dark side. Macbeth is a historically based play. James I is placed into the play with his distant relationship with Banguo. Macbeth is a tragedy in which human actions have unavoidable

Macbeth as a Tragic Hero Essay

1028 words - 5 pages said established belovedness, and his own undoing. Initially, Macbeth is introduced to the play as a noble war hero with endless talent as a tactician, a truly admirable character. In an early scene of the play, the sergeant speaks very highly of Macbeth despite not knowing him very well personally. Dying from a fatal wound and explaining what happened, he says “For brave Macbeth (well he deserves that name)/… fix’d [the enemy’s] head on our

Macbeth is a Tragic Hero

1254 words - 6 pages Macbeth was a true Shakespearean tragic hero. He had many noble qualities as well as several tragic flaws. He was a courageous, brave and good nobleman who was haunted by superstition, moral cowardice and an overwhelming ambition.(Boyce) Macbeth’s ambition to be king starts off as just a desire and progressively as the play goes on it becomes his tragic flaws. Lady Macbeth convinces her husband to murder king Duncan by putting his manhood and

Macbeth as A Tragic Hero

2503 words - 10 pages tragic hero often has an extraordinary destiny within his grasp (Phillips 123). Macbeth feels that he is destine for greatness and he is not happy by just being the Thane of Cawdor. Macbeth fights courageously on Scotland's side during the battle between King Duncan and Macdonwald. According to Edward Foster, "Macbeth has just returned from a military success that has covered him with glory in defense of the crown. He is

A Shakesperean Tragic Hero - Macbeth

1248 words - 5 pages shows a noble virtue of Macbeth, a requirement of a tragic hero according to Aristotle. It shows that Macbeth is a loyal person to the King and that he is a great warrior. Later in the play, through his actions, Macbeth is shown as a hubris character. He thought nothing of killing Duncan nor of Banquo. He was not afraid of the consequences of his actions although he knew very well what they would be. This is another part of Aristotle's theory

macbeth as a tragic hero

788 words - 3 pages      A Shakespearean tragic hero starts out as a noble person; a great exceptional being who stands out. A tragic hero has a tragic flaw of an exaggerated trait that leads to their downfall and eventually to death. William Shakespeare often made his main characters tragic heroes in his plays. In Shakespeare’s Macbeth, the role of the tragic hero is given to the main character: Macbeth. This is because he starts off as a

Macbeth: A Hero and a Diabolical Figure

1045 words - 5 pages initially a hero turned tyrant. “Yet upon further examination we discover a hidden similarity between Macbeth’s dramatic situation and everyday life. The everyday incidents that we might take as examples of ethical thinking also come to us as a tale told” (Keller 1). The article’s author states that Macbeth is truly an evil tyrant. However we should not forget of the situation he was in and all of the everyday problems he had faced. Furthermore

Odysseus is not a Hero

768 words - 3 pages feel a hero is, he doesn¹t even come close. In the book, Odysseus does nothing out of the goodness of his heart. Even if Odysseus fought in the Trojan War, he is not a hero because he is self-centered and ignorant to other people¹s values and needs.There are multiple examples of Odysseus being self-centered, such as not taking people¹s advice. Odysseus was given advice from Circe that said not to try to fight Scylla even when she

Is Macbeth a hero or villian?

616 words - 2 pages ). Also, Macbeth is always going back to the witches' for answers to protect himself even though they may not be the right answers. "I conjure you, by that which you profess- howe'er you come to know it - answer me:" (4.1.50-51)Just after the murder of Duncan, Macbeth isn't fully caught. Many of Macbeth's noblemen would believe Macbeth is a hero for taking over an important job. When Malcolm and Macduff discover Duncan has been murdered they

Shakespeare's Macbeth is a Tragic Hero

976 words - 4 pages Macbeth is a Tragic Hero                 "Shakespeare's tragic hero is a man of noble birth who falls from a position of honor and respect due to a flaw in his character. He freely chooses a course of action which ultimately causes him suffering and brings him to a fatal end."(Campbell 129) Macbeth is the epitome of a tragic hero who rises high then falls rock bottom to his death. Macbeth, once a noble man, follows the advice of witches

Macbeth as a Shakespearean Tragic Hero

2784 words - 11 pages Macbeth as a Shakespearean Tragic Hero In this essay I will be exploring how far Macbeth is considered to be a Shakespearean tragic hero. According to A.C Bradley, the man who defined what a Shakespearean tragic hero is, a typical Shakespearean tragic hero is a person of greatness and high power. We can see at the beginning of the play that Macbeth is the 'Thane of Glamis' but is then promoted, due to the execution of a

Similar Essays

Macbeth A Tragic Hero Essay

792 words - 3 pages desires have been accomplished. These battles with their conscience evoke empathy from the audience. A Shakespearean Tragic Hero will always lose their life in the end of the play as a result of re-establishment of what is good in the play. In Shakespeare's Macbeth, the title figure of the play can be seen as the Tragic Hero.There are many factors which contribute to the decline of Macbeth. The three main factors which contribute greatly to Macbeth's

Macbeth A Tragic Hero Essay

958 words - 4 pages Macbeth- A Tragic Hero The meaning of the word Tragic Hero as defined by MicrosoftWorks dictionary is "A hero of noble stature whose fortunes are reversed as a result of weakness." There were many characters in the play Macbeth that were affected by tragedy for a number of reasons, but Macbeth and his reverse of fortunes as a result of his own actions, were without doubt a victim of this. Macbeth's actions lead him to his very nemesis

Macbeth A True Hero? Essay

1557 words - 6 pages start of the play but there are signs that he is not as noble and trustworthy as first seems. This is displayed in the lines where he speaks to people "Aside". This shows he is trying to keep some information a secret from certain people. Towards the end of the scene Macbeth shows he is less of a hero as he is made out to be. He is beginning to have corrupt thoughts about his position.In scene five Lady Macbeth receives a letter from Macbeth. In

Macbeth As A Tragic Hero Essay

1010 words - 4 pages A tragic hero is defined as a person who holds a seat of authority or power, but is doomed to eventually fall. The hero's tragic flaw, usually hubris or hamartia (excessive pride and rashness respectively), results in a spiraling downfall. Macbeth exemplifies these characteristics of a tragic hero. He is of noble birth and succumbs to hubris and his ambitious nature. By being victimized by not only the witches, but also his wife and the reader's