Macbeth as a Tragic Hero in William Shakespeare's Play

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Macbeth as a Tragic Hero in William Shakespeare's Play The first time we hear about Macbeth he is presented as a hero - 'brave Macbeth - well he deserves that name.' Before meeting the character we are told what other people think of him. This builds expectations. The audience would expect Macbeth to be the brave, heroic type, and would want to meet him. However, when we do meet Macbeth this original opinion begins to falter. The very first line he says is 'So foul and fair a day I have not seen.' This instantly connects him to the witches as the line is very similar to the witches 'fair is foul and foul is fair' chant at the end of scene 1. As people in the time of James I saw witchcraft as an undoubtedly evil thing, it would also taint his heroic status, which he received from the words of Malcolm in scene 2. This would create interest as the audience could want to see if this supernatural connection developed. The witches words influence him greatly, it is clear he is intrigued - 'Stay you imperfect speakers, tell me more.' This shows the ambitious nature of his personality and also leaves the audience wondering whether or not he will achieve the goals set by the witches. Shakespeare has given Macbeth a very complicated personality. For example, he isn't pure evil. Although his ambitious nature makes him yearn for kingship -'Stars, hide your fires. Let not light see my black and deep desires,' he doesn't automatically agree to Lady Macbeth's... ... middle of paper ... ... Scotland it shows how strongly Shakespeare shaped his play to the King's interests. The limitations of theatre are also apparent as Shakespeare relies on language instead of props to get images across to the audience. For example, the description of the battle -'they meant to bathe in reeking wounds, or memorise another Golgotha.' This line portrays a clear image of the battle without the use of any special effects, and also relates to the audiences religious bearings (the reference to Golgotha). I find the opening act of Macbeth very successful as Shakespeare creates interest while managing to introduce the main themes. It involves the audience and prepares us for the rest of the play by giving us an insight into what will happen, but still leaves us wondering, shrouding the future occurrences in mystery.

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