The Character of Macbeth in William Shakespeare's Play
Modern day society defines tragedy as life’s bitterness and defeat. In
the time of Macbeth, tragedy involves a great man from fortunate
success falling to utter defeat, a state of chaos, and eventual death.
The horrific tragedy of Macbeth captures the audience as they feel
pity, sympathy, horror and fear. The supernatural is showcased and
deaths are shown throughout the play. Macbeth is a man with one goal;
to become king. His evil nature is shown to the audience and the
tension increases. This tension is used to gain sympathy from the
audience. His bloody downfall not only relieves the audience of its
tension, but the tragic hero from his burden. However, who was
responsible for Macbeth’s death? Could his power hungry wife have
pushed him to his demise? Macbeths’ downfall was a direct result his
character flaws. These hamartias are his greed for power, his ambition
and his thirst for killing.
Macbeths need to be all powerful was a direct cause of his death. At
the beginning of the play, the third witch says ‘All hail, Macbeth!
that shalt be king hereafter’ (Act I. Scene iii line 49). This had
intrigued Macbeth. At this part in the play, he has reached a great
point in his life as the Thane of Cawdor. Macbeth is now in touch with
both the supernatural and the evil, and though still skeptical, he
wants to become king at all costs. Though dressed ‘In borrow’d robes’
(Macbeth, Act I. Scene iii line 108) he easily adjusted to the roll.
His need to become more in life leads to his killing of the king. Like
a pack of ravaging dogs, Macbeth finishes off the King of Scotland
even though many reasons tell him not too. His greed to constantly
become all powerful brought him down. As Macbeth became over confident
at his power, he challenged that which he could not defeat. Macbeth
could not stand others defying him or others being better then him or
in any aspect; he saw himself as the superpower. As one can clearly
see, his need to be all controlling led to his defeat.
Another character flaw that Macbeth possesses is his thirst for
killing. His first kill sparked something inside of him. The old shy
and nervous Macbeth was replaced with a new reckless and brave man.
His need for power makes him want to remove all those around him that
pose a threat, and his thirst for killing fuels that. As the seconds
slips away on a clock, so does Macbeths ability to think logically.
His seeking out of Macduff, his only real energy, was an unwise choice
that eventually lead to his death....