The Tragic Flaw Of Macbeth By William Shakespeare Essays

The Tragic Flaw Of Macbeth By William Shakespeare Essays

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Macbeth is among the best examples of a tragic hero to exist in classic literature. Like any other protagonist of an epic, he is a courageous and powerful leader. However, he has one tragic flaw (his ambition) that slowly destroys his life before ending it, effectively bringing about his downfall. Macbeth 's tragic flaw is brought to the surface when he learns of his potential future position as king, and from there it takes control of his actions and judgement. By examining Macbeth 's attitude towards murder throughout the piece, one can trace the different stages of his moral degeneration as he appears to think less and less of the consequences of his actions.
Macbeth is introduced much like any other heroic character that protagonizes a literary epic: he is a man of great personal ability and power. In the second scene of the play, a wounded Captain that fought for King Duncan reports Macbeth 's extraordinary performance in battle: "CAPTAIN: But all’s too weak, / For brave Macbeth—well he deserves that name— / Disdaining fortune, with his brandished steel, / Which smoked with bloody execution, / Like valor’s minion carved out his passage / Till he faced the slave" (Shakespeare 15-20). Even though Macbeth shed much blood on the battlefield, his actions are regarded as commendable because they were made for the sole purpose of defending his country and serving his king. The same could not be said for his violent acts after hearing the three witches ' prophecy,
Once Macbeth hears from the witches that he is destined for the throne, thoughts of regicide immediately flood his mind as he imagines how he might assume his now-promised place on the throne. However, even though he contemplates such thoughts for a time, he ultimately de...


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...h: Aeneas also suffered much in "The Aeneid" due to his incessant pursuit of honor and glory, and he did not prevail until he learned to let go of these ambitions. The difference lies in the fact that Macbeth never overcame such pursuit, which ultimately proved to be his downfall.
Whether it be because of overt Macbeth 's desire for manliness or general ambition for power, his character developed from a virtuous and talented hero to a bitter king who thought little of killing others for even the slightest personal gain. Macbeth flawlessly exemplifies the character of a tragic hero by demonstrating the tragedies that one can bring about due to a single but critical flaw in character. His dramatic character development throughout the piece can attest to that, as the tyrant who is struck down in the end is virtually unrecognizable from the hero we meet in the beginning.

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