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To Pity, Or Not To Pity

731 words - 3 pages

Throughout life, one encounters people who are to be pitied and people who don’t deserve to be pitied. Abram defined the term tragic hero as someone who is to be pitied, someone who is quite arrogant in his or her remarks, and who is influenced by his “error of judgment”, or tragic flaw. In Shakespeare’s play Macbeth, a respected soldier, Macbeth, is to be bombarded with the most awful misfortune. In this case, Macbeth has two out of the three conditions to qualify as a tragic hero; extreme arrogance and tragic flaw. Even though Macbeth qualifies for most of the conditions of a tragic hero, he does not deserve the remaining condition; pity.
During the beginning of the play, Macbeth is praised which raises his social standing, and later develops arrogance which ultimately leads to his downfall. Shakespeare cites “What he hath lost, noble Macbeth hath won” (1: 2: 78). This quote represents the praise Macbeth receives from the king, and his promotion which will further raise his self-esteem to a point where it is dangerous. According to Abram, “This tragic effect will be stronger if the hero is “better than we are,” in the sense that he is of higher than ordinary moral worth…which leads a protagonist to disregard a divine warning or to violate an important moral law.” This statement suggests that, Macbeth’s worthy praise stimulated his arrogance which caused him to commit many immoral crimes. Briefly, Macbeth meets one of the conditions for a tragic hero, but doesn’t necessarily mean that Macbeth is a tragic hero.
Furthermore, Macbeth’s decisions and conscious were overtaken by his tragic flaw; extreme desire for power. Shakespeare illustrates “Let not light see my black and deep desires. The eye wink at the hand, yet let that be which the eye fears, when it is done, to see” (1:4:58-60). This evidence suggests that Macbeth, is thinking about evil plans to replace the former king in order for him to become king. This is triggered by his tragic flaw; intense desire for power. Abram contends ‘“Such a man is exhibited as suffering a change in fortune from happiness to misery because of his...

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