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The Character Of Macbeth In Shakespeare's "Macbeth"

1131 words - 5 pages

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.At the very beginning of the play, Macbeth and Banquo are returning to Scotland from a fierce battle between the Norwegians and the Scottish. They have just won the war for Duncan. This 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. As they are returning to Scotland, three witches appear and make prophecies about Macbeth and Banquo. The three witches say "All hail, Macbeth! hail to thee, thane of Glamis! All hail, Macbeth! hail to thee, thane of Cawdor! All hail Macbeth, that shalt be king hereafter!" (A 1, S 3, 48). Here, Macbeth is interested in what the witches have to say, but he does not really believe them. A few minutes later, Ross enters. He tells Macbeth that the thane of Cawdor is in line for death and that Duncan has named Macbeth the new thane of Cawdor. Now, Macbeth is absolutely shocked. The witches prophecy has come true! He can not believe it! But now Macbeth has a lot more on his mind; the third prophecy about becoming the King. Macbeth knows that if something were to happen to Duncan, Malcolm and Donalbain, Duncan's sons, would be the rightful heirs to the throne. How can Macbeth be King when he is nowhere near the next in line to the throne? Another requirement for a tragic hero is that he must have a tragic flaw. Macbeth's tragic flaw is that of ambition; Macbeth's ambition will cause him to decline.At this point, Lady Macbeth knows all about the witches prophecies. She really wants to be Queen of Scotland so she encourages Macbeth to do what he has to do to get rid of Duncan. Lady Macbeth is putting an enormous amount of influence on Macbeth. He thinks that Duncan is a great King and he considers Duncan to be a good friend. Finally Macbeth gives in to Lady Macbeth and decides that he will kill Duncan while he is visiting Macbeth's castle that same night. That night, Macbeth kills Duncan. However, afterwards, Macbeth is feeling very sorry for himself. He can not believe what he has just done. His ambition has caused him to kill a good friend and even worse, the King! Here, Macbeth is going crazy. He is so crazy right now that he brought the daggers he used to kill Duncan with him to his room. Lady Macbeth screams at him to go back to return the daggers but he says "I'll go no more; I am afraid to think what I have done; Look on 't again I dare not." (A 2, S 2, 51). This is where Lady Macbeth takes control and tells him that "...a little water clears us of this deed." (A 2, S 2, 67). After a while, Macbeth becomes content with what he has done especially after Malcolm and Donalbain leave Scotland for fear of their lives. Now, the third prophecy has come true; Macbeth is King of...

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