Macbeth could justly be classified a “Tragic Hero” as his tragic story fills out the defined criteria for a tragic hero. Macbeth holds a significant social status, reveals essential truths about humanity through his suffering, has tragically wasted talent, contains a “tragic flaw” leading to his downfall and finally he finds some relief in his death.
Macbeth, throughout this play, has held a substantial amount of power in society. Firstly he begins as the Thane of Glamis before becoming the Thane of Cawdor and finally King of Scotland. His death greatly affected everyone in Scotland, both those who stood by him and those who opposed and finally killed him. *****quotes from both sides***** Macbeth’s downfall would have meant that finally the rightful king was on the throne of Scotland and this would have been significant for the Scottish people of all socio-economic classes.
The suffering of Macbeth throughout the play is a disconsolate process. Throughout the stages of his grievous downfall essential truths about humanity are dubiously displayed. Macbeth’s ordeal reveals the evils of ambition as he takes the life of King Duncan. What follows this seems to be a snowball effect on Macbeth’s part as a seemingly needless slaughter follows as he kills his friend Banquo and Macduff’s wife and children. Shakespeare portrays his mindless logic bluntly, “No son of mine succeeding. If’t be so, for Banquo’s issue I fil’d my mind, (and) for them the gracious Duncan I have murder’d” (Macbeth’s 3rd Soliloquy). This shows that ambition, greed and power have thoroughly corrupted the minds of both Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. Although their consciences return to them in signs and visions they are pushed away as cowardly, “unmanly” behaviour. “Not bear the knife myself. Besides this Duncan hath borne his faculties so meek…” (Act 1 scene 7)
Shakespeare makes it painstakingly apparent that Macbeth becomes a hero whose greatness of character and talent are tragically wasted through circumstance. Shakespeare introduces Macbeth to us before he physically enters the play through descriptions of his valour by others *****quotes about his bravery*****. All this...