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The Tragic Hero of Macbeth

analytical Essay
518 words
518 words
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The Tragic Hero of Macbeth Thunder and lightning. Enter three Witches. Yes, it is the first scene from William Shakespeare's Macbeth, a tragic tale of one man's quest for power and his ultimate defeat. The story revolves around our tragic hero, Macbeth, and how an admirable and noble man, so established in society, can fall so greatly. The character of Macbeth is a classic example of a Shakespearean tragic hero. There are various factors that contributed to the downfall of Macbeth of which three stand out most. These three points that lead to Macbeth's degeneration include: the prophecies told to him by the witches, Lady Macbeth's influence and manipulation of Macbeth's judgment, and finally Macbeth's long time ambition which drove his desire to be king. Macbeth's growing character degenerates from a noble man to a violent individual. The prophecies told by the witches are one of the factors that contributed to the degeneration of Macbeth's character. If it had not been for the witches' revelation that he was to become, "Thane of Cawdor, Thane of Glamis, and King of Scotland" (I.iii.46--49), Macbeth would've still been his ordinary self. As a result of the prophecies, the arousal of Macbeth's curiosity concerning the possibility of how he could be King of Scotland could be seen. As the play progresses, Macbeth slowly relies on and devotes his trust to the witches' prophecies. Shakespeare utilizes the witches as a remedy for Macbeth's curiosity thereby corrupting his character. The influence of Macbeth's wife, Lady Macbeth, also contributed to the degeneration of his character. Lady Macbeth's character in the beginning revealed that she was a lovable person. When Lady Macbeth was ready to kill King Duncan herself, it was revealed that Lady Macbeth could not murder him because he, "resembled her father" (II.ii.14). This proved that Lady Macbeth did in fact have a heart deep inside her and was in fact only human. Lady Macbeth played an extremely important role in this play as she provided the scheme that caused Macbeth to assassinate King Duncan. She told Macbeth to "Only look up clear" and to "leave all the rest to me" (I.iv.70-72). Macbeth vacillates before the murder of Duncan (I.vii.1ff.). He experiences hallucinations that precede (II.i.33-35) and follow (II.ii.35-36) this murder; he is unable to answer "amen" to "God bless us" (II.ii.23 ff.). He feels remorse in II.

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how shakespeare's macbeth is a tragic tale of one man’s quest for power and his ultimate defeat. the prophecies told to him by the witches led to his degeneration.
  • Analyzes how shakespeare utilizes the witches' prophecies as a remedy for macbeth's curiosity thereby corrupting his character.
  • Analyzes how lady macbeth's influence contributed to the degeneration of his character. she played an extremely important role in the play as she provided the scheme that caused him to assassinate king duncan.
  • Analyzes how the change in macbeth's character is exposed in ii.ii.60 ff.
  • Analyzes how macbeth is driven by an obsession to become king of scotland, and in the process commits acts of betrayal and treachery to achieve this goal. his ambition was not strong enough to carry the motive to kill king duncan.
  • Concludes that macbeth's fall from grace into pure misery is tragic in its nature. he was simply a weak soul that was unfairly tricked.
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