Murder or Hero, Sometimes it’s Hard to Say
Though someone who murders and is malicious would be hard to see as a hero, once the evidence has been shown it cannot be denied that Macbeth, from William Shakespeare’s Macbeth, qualifies as one. Though his way of life may be hard to understand Macbeth is a tragic hero. This statement can be made because throughout the play he meets all the criteria necessary to be classified as one. Macbeth has a very clear and definite downfall and he also has the power to draw the pity and attention of the audience which classifies him as a tragic hero.
The word hero generally reference to the biggest and bravest around but when one is looking at a tragic hero there is a list of clear qualifications they must meet. Macbeth might be sinful and evil but with some insight it can be seen that he does fit this category. A tragic hero must be a good person or someone of high rank, someone with power and in the beginning of the play we are introduced to a Macbeth who is praised of by kings and thanes. We hear of him after a battle in Normandy and he is presented with mew titles, “noble Macbeth hath won” (I.II.68). Even though Macbeth has not entered the play the reader already had an image of him as someone of high rank and standing who is loved by those around him therefore showing that Macbeth fits the qualifications. Even if the reader would rather despise Macbeth and watch him die, there is something about him that will evoke emotions of pity and support. He captures the reader then leads them through the story. Though one does not want to, one pity’s his humanity and he then becomes relatable. When he is questioning himself and his surroundings “cannot be ill; cannot be good…is smother’d in surmise, and nothing is, but what is wot” (I.III.131-142), he becomes relatable because one can see his struggle and understand his conflict. Once he becomes relatable his pull as a character and as a tragic hero is greatened. Finally Macbeth meets an integral part of being a tragic hero, he becomes self-aware. He realizes his downfall and what his life has become; it is one of the final steps in the tragic hero’s journey. One can observe his revelation when he is dealing with the death of Lady Macbeth “Seyton- I am sick at heart…dare not Seyton” (V.III.19-29). He has come to the realization that his actions have had effects that go beyond him. Macbeth realizes how short life is and how little of it he has lived. This final act of self-discovery gets sympathy from the audience and meets a crucial part of the tragic hero criteria. It can be seen that even though Macbeth might not come to mind when one thinks of a hero he does meet all the requirements of a tragic hero and plays the role well.
Although the criteria of Macbeth’s downfall were touched on it does play a large role in the play and in his becoming a tragic hero. The downfall begins with the murder of king Duncan. Though this act alone does not classify him as a tragic...