Analysis Of Macbeth As A Tragic Hero

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Throughout history, many authors have incorporated tragic heroes into numerous amounts of novels and plays. Tragic heroes are not the typical hero that saves the day. Tragic heroes have distinct characteristics that make them different from others. The play Macbeth, written by William Shakespeare holds a famous tragic hero. The first performance of Macbeth was in 1606 inside King James’s court. Macbeth is the shortest tragic play Shakespeare ever wrote because it was written to King James’s liking—since he was not a fan of long plays. They even referred to the play as “the Scottish Tragedy” because actors and directors believed it would bring bad luck to those who said the name of the play. (Shakespeare viii) The protagonist, Macbeth is not only the main character but the tragic hero as well. There are many attributes that Macbeth has that shows how he is a tragic hero in the play.
First, what characteristics make a person a tragic hero? There are multiple aspects that a person must have that will declare them a tragic hero. The most notorious tragic hero is Oedipus from the play Oedipus Rex written by Sophocles. In the play, Oedipus is frightened about the prophecy that he will kill his father and marry his mother. (Black 1) Oedipus and Macbeth relate because they are both told prophecies that alter the course of their lives significantly. Oedipus is a prime example of a tragic hero because he displays all of the characteristics in Oedipus Rex. One aspect is that a tragic hero is a character that is of nobility and may display heroic qualities. (English 1) Typically a tragic hero may be born with a father of high power such as a king. In Oedipus Rex, Oedipus is of noble birth which is seen from his parents—being the king and que...

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...m Wood marches against him but when he learns that Macduff is not born of a woman. “Though Birnam Wood be come to Dunsinane, and thou opposed, being of no woman born, yet I will try the last. Before my body I throw my warlike shield. Lay on, Macduff; and damned be him that first cries “Hold, enough!” (V. viii. 30-34) In the end, Macbeth’s greed and search for power leads to his degeneration. His death is the final part of his downfall and the final aspect of being a tragic hero.
In conclusion, Macbeth is a tragic hero because he shows various elements of being such a character similarly to Oedipus. In the play, Macbeth is of nobility, and experiences an epiphany as a result of his actions. Not only that, he has a specific tragic flaw and goes through a downfall which later results in his death. Because of these characteristics, Macbeth is a famous tragic hero.

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