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Shakespeare's Macbeth Meets the Definition of a Tragic Hero

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Macbeth Meets the Definition of a Tragic Hero

William Shakespeare's tragic play 'Macbeth' contains images of suffering and details the consequences of one's action. The story, set within medieval Scotland, follows the actions of a man destined for greatness. Macbeth is known to be noble, yet he falters and ultimately falls prey to his conscience. As a result, Macbeth is the tragic hero of this play because he makes a fatal mistake, he endures great suffering, and he possesses a destructive hamartia.

As aforementioned Macbeth's first characteristic of the tragic hero is that he makes a fatal mistake. Macbeth's fatal mistake is that he listens to others too much and he is particularly credulous as to what they say. Macbeth is swayed by the words of the witches, the Apparitions, and his own wife. Near the beginning of the play, Macbeth and Banquo encounter three witches. The witches greet Macbeth by hailing him by his two titles, Thane of Cawdor and Glams, and then the Third Witch hails him by saying, "... that shalt be king hereafter.(Mac.1.3.53)" The witch's statement makes Macbeth believe that since the witch said it, it must be true. The witches are probably the source for Macbeth's hunger for power over Scotland. The witches do not ...

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Swisher. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, Inc., 1999. 30-37.
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