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Tragedy In Shakespeare's Macbeth Essay

740 words - 3 pages

“We are only puppets, our strings are being pulled by unknown forces.”~ Georg Buchner A tragedy is a drama or literary work in which the main character is brought to ruin or suffers extreme sorrow, especially as a consequence of a tragic flaw, moral weakness, or inability to cope with unfavorable circumstances. The play Macbeth is a tragedy because Macbeth allowed himself to be driven by his ambitions and unknowingly have his destiny manipulated by both those who he held dear as well as by his own enemies in disguise.
How thin is the line between ambition and greed? During the introduction of the play, we learn Macbeth is a well-respected general in the King’s army, and a Thane of Glamis. The real action of the play begins when Macbeth and Banquo run into the Witches for the first time. The Witches bare with them prophecies of the future, which they entrust to the men. Banquo is disbelieving, alongside a hesitant Macbeth. Macbeth comes to recognize the veracity of their prophecies as he becomes Thane of Cawdor. Granting Macbeth a piece of mind that the final prophecy, his most greatly anticipated prophecy will come true, he will become King. This aspiration awakened an ambition whose depths were yet to be explored at this point. The tragic pattern has begun.
Macbeth notifies his wife of the prophecies, describing how one of them had already come true. Lady Macbeth is overjoyed by the idea of becoming the Queen, and she quickly becomes discontent with a “passive role”, of just standing around and waiting on Macbeth to become King. Lady Macbeth is far from submissive to her husband, often giving him orders or sneakily manipulating him. When Macbeth gets home, she prompts him to take action against King Duncan, formulating a plan to take place during the King’s upcoming visit. Macbeth sneaks into King Duncan’s bedchambers and as the King sleeps murders him with daggers. The thought to murder King Duncan had no doubt fleetingly crossed Macbeths mind, but ultimately it was his wife’s powerful persistence and deep-rooted ambition rather than his own that carries the story forward.
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