Witches in Macbeth by William Shakespeare Essay

Witches in Macbeth by William Shakespeare Essay

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The title figure in William Shakespeare’s Macbeth is a classic example of a tragic hero. There are many factors that contribute to the main character, Macbeth, to degenerate; three of them will be discussed. These three are the prophecy, which was told him by the witches, Lady Macbeth’s influence and control over Macbeth’s judgment, and finally Macbeth’s ambitions that drove his desire to be king. Macbeth degenerates from a noble man to violent individual and this leads to his death.
The prophecies that were told by the witches were one of the factors that contributed to the degeneration of his character. Typically, a tragic hero is a figure of high stature, often of noble background. In the beginning of the play, Macbeth and Banquo are returning from the battle between the Norwegians and Scottish. They have just won the war for Duncan. Thereby he is established as person of great stature. The manner in the leader of the country speaks of Macbeth truly shows Macbeth’s respectable and honorable nature “O valiant cousin, worthy gentleman!” (Shakespeare, I. ii. 24). Duncan speaks highly of him; unaware of the destiny Macbeth will later impose on him. Macbeth already has a title of Thane of Glamis “All hail, Macbeth! hail to thee, thane of Glamis!” (I. iii. 48). This indicates that Macbeth is a great warrior and is an important figure of Scottish nobility. As predicted by the witches “All hail, Macbeth! hail to thee, thane of Cawdor!...shalt be king hereafter!” he will soon take reign as the Thane of Cawdor and then King of Scotland (I. iii. 49-50). If the witches had never told him that, Macbeth would still be ordinary self. As a result of the prophecies, Macbeth’s honorable nature seemed to fade.
The enormous amount of influence of ...


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...ident now; he is shown as a hubris character as expected, in order to be a tragic hero. His ambitions blind him from seeing the destructive path he has created, ruling as a tyrant rather than a noble king “Too hot to stop, too cool to feel… Standing before him, we cannot but be paralyzed with fear.” (Low, 146). At the end of the play with his death, Macbeth solidifies himself as a tragic hero.
In conclusion, throughout the entire play, the audience gets to see the full cycle of rise to power, followed by a great demise. The prophecies given to him by the witches, Lady Macbeth’s influence and plan, and his intensified ambition, all of it contributed greatly to his degeneration of character, which resulted to his downfall, death. Macbeth displays all the characteristics of a tragic hero, making him an infamous character in Shakespeare’s time as well as present day.



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