Macbeth as a Tragic Hero in William Shakespeare's Play Essay

Macbeth as a Tragic Hero in William Shakespeare's Play Essay

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Macbeth as a Tragic Hero in William Shakespeare's Play

The play ‘Macbeth’ by William Shakespeare charts the rise and fall of
the Scottish general Macbeth, through a tale of treachery, deceit and
death. First performed in 1606 ‘Macbeth’ is inspired by a story of the
Scottish monarchy. A tragic hero is one who at the outset is not
wholly good or bad but has a character fault that causes them to make
tragic mistakes resulting in their eventual downfall. ‘Macbeth’ is a
renaissance tragedy and we can see that Macbeth’s decisions to move
away from war hero to noble aggressor as an example of him being an
archetypal renaissance tragic hero. We can define ‘Macbeth’ as a
renaissance tragedy because Macbeth determined his own fate by
deciding to sin, for example, killing King Duncan. Macbeth also had a
tragic flaw or hamartia, which was his vaulting and uncontrollable
ambition. To the Greeks hamartia resulted from ignorance, something
the hero could not control. Macbeth was responsible for his own fate
and was not a victim of a cruel trick played on him by the gods. This
alone proves that Macbeth is a renaissance, not a Greek tragedy.

Throughout the play there are a number of ongoing themes which include
how the desire to have power and unchecked ambition can make people
corrupt, for example Macbeth’s ambition for kingship overpowers his
principles and his friendships for King Duncan and Banquo. The roles
of men and women in this play are very well defined even if the roles
are not traditionally Shakespearean “When you durst do it, then you
were the man. And to be more than what you were, you would Be so much
more the man.” Act 1, Scene 7, ...


... middle of paper ...


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the crime is punished by their own deaths. Another symbol used in the
play is the raven symbolizing ill omen. The raven is often referred
to as a storm crow since it tells of an upcoming storm. It served the
same purpose in the play being seen before tense parts. Another
symbol in the play is sleep. Sleep represents innocence, because when
one is asleep one is very vulnerable to attack and one can also not
commit any crimes when asleep and those who cannot have sleep are so
because they have lost their innocence and are overcome with guilt and
paranoia.

In conclusion I believe that Macbeth fits the role of renaissance
tragic hero. I think this because he is responsible for his own
downfall and this downfall comes about because of a tragic flaw.
Macbeth’s tragic flaw was his vaulting ambition to become king.

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