Macbeth As A Tragedy According To Aristotles Definition

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While the genre of some works of literature can be debated, Macbeth written by William Shakespeare seems to fit into a perfect mold. Aristotle’s definition of a tragedy, combining seven elements that he believes make the genre of a work a tragedy, is that mold. Displaying all seven aspects, Macbeth fits the definition precisely.

Key elements in the play substantiate the fact that Macbeth is a serious story, the first elements of Aristotle’s definition. From the first lines of the play, the mood is set featuring witches whom speak of witchcraft, potions and apparitions. Not only do the three witches aid in making this a serious story but also, they appealed to Elizabethans whom at the time believed in such supernatural phenomena. War for centuries has represented killing and feuding, thus, the war taking place between Scotland and Norway provided a dark component. The Thane of Cawdor’s rapidly approaching execution due to his deceiving the king also plays a role in this grim work. Murder throughout all of Macbeth is an essential aspect when dealing with the seriousness of the play. From the beginning, Lady Macbeth urges Macbeth to do anything to overthrow King Duncan, whom is the king of Scotland, the role Macbeth desperately yearns for. During the excursion to become king, Macbeth successfully murders King Duncan, Macduff’s wife and children, and with the help of a group of murderers Banquo; a brave general who will inherit the Scottish throne. Through the whole play, while such dank occurrences are used to create deep mood, Shakespeare also uses strong language and words. Such as when Lady Macbeth calls upon the gods to make her man-like so she will have the fortitude to kill King Duncan herself in this quote, “Come you spirits that tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here… Make my blood thick… Come, thick night, and pall thee in the dunest smoke of hell, that my keen knife see not the wound it makes, nor heaven peep through the blanket of the dark.” This type of language provokes thoughts of death, blood and darkness though the imagery such dank words create. The play also follows through with its theme of blood by in the end of the play, having both of its lead characters die. Lady Macbeth, distraught by guilt over the bloodshed, commits suicide while Macbeth is murdered and beheaded by Macduff, a Scottish noblemen.

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