Elements of Tragedy in Macbeth

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Elements of Tragedy in Macbeth Shakespearean tragedies always have a noble, heroic central character. Normally we hear about from other characters before he actual enters into the play. We are also, given the first impression of the greatness of the tragic hero through the eyes of others. “...But all’s too weak; for brave Macbeth (well he deserves that name); disdaining fortune, with his brandished steel, ...carved out his passage till he faced the slave; which ne’er shook hands, nor bade farewell to him till he unseamed him fro the nave to th’ chops, and fixed his head upon our battlements.”(9) The captain is not only the first one to mention Macbeth in the play but he also shows how heroic and brave Macbeth is. Another vital part of a tragedy is that the main character will have a flaw in him that will later lead to his demise. In Macbeth his flaw is that he wants power. “ The Prince of Cumberland! That is a step on which I must fall down or else o’erleap, for in my way it lies. Stars hide your fires; let not light see my blank and deep desires. The eye wink at the hand, yet let that be which the eye fear, when it is done, to see.”(29) Having heard the prophecy that he will be king, Macbeth looks for ways to make it happen more quickly. We see both Macbeth's potential for greatness and his obsessive aspirations. He has vaulting ambitions and knows that Duncan and Malcom both stand in the way. A sense of urgency develops with the plot and the conflict that not only creates tension, but also creates the effect of a kind of steam-rolling inevitability regarding the hero's fall that he has put into motion himself. “...Stepped in so far that, should I wade no more, returning were as tedious as go o’er...”(109) With the death of Duncan Macbeth becomes involved in circumstances beyond his control. After he murders Banquo he has to continue to kill to stay in power. Though he could have stopped in the beginning had he not let Lady Macbeth talk him into the murder of Duncan. After all that has happen Macbeth finally gains insight about himself and life. “...My way of life has fallen in to sere, the yellow leaf and that which should accompany old age, as honor, love, obedience, troops of friends, I must not look to have, but in their stead curses, not loud, but deep mothered honor, breath which the poor heart would fain deny and dare not-.
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