Macbeth Hero Or Villain? Essay

1454 words - 6 pages

‘Macbeth’ is a play by William Shakespeare that shows a protagonist going from bad to worse throughout the play. Shakespeare wrote this play, taking in mind current affairs at the time of 1603-1606. This is the time when a Scottish king, James I was given the English crown. This king was obsessed with witches, so Shakespeare brought this theme strongly into the play. It also brings the theme of treachery towards the King. This pleased King James and also pleased him about showing the line of Stuart Kings, James descendants, in Act 4, Scene 1.

The play, ‘Macbeth’ is a tragedy. The traditional specification of a tragedy requires the tragic hero to be a person who holds a high position who must oppose a conflicting force, either externally or internally(a conflicting force from his own state or another. Also, the hero should have a Hamartia, which is a tragic flaw. This will lead to the hero’s downfall, in this case, it is Macbeth’s ambition. This downfall should lead to the hero’s death in order for him to qualify as a tragic hero. The action the tragic hero does must be real and could happen at any time.

Macbeth becomes a villain when he discovers he will become King of Scotland. The traditional idea of a villain says that he or she should go by evil methods to get what they want. In the case of Macbeth, he killed Duncan to become King of Scotland. A villain is also cruel and ruthless. The villain may also be a person who commits crimes against the people and is all powerful.

We hear about Macbeth even before we meet him. This is because the witches are casting a spell that foretells that Macbeth will meet them at the heath.

In the scene with the captain, we hear that Macbeth is like a hero and is faithful to his king.
“O valiant cousin, worthy gentleman”, (I, ii)

When we first hear about Macbeth, we learn the descriptions of him are positive towards King Duncan. But, they are also gory. They tell of Macbeth being a fierce warrior and not being afraid to kill in war.
“Till he unseamed him from the nave to th’ chops”, (I, ii).

After Macbeth meets the witches, he fully supports the evil they tell of to get what he wants. Whenever we see the witches, they appear to be pure evil, especially when they cast their spells.
“Liver of blaspheming Jew” (IV, i).

Even though the witches say Macbeth will be King of Scotland, they do not suggest that he kill Duncan to achieve this. Their words are for Macbeth to interpret. Macbeth does not have to follow his ambition, he could resist it, making him a better man. All through the play Macbeth becomes obsessed with what the witches have for-told. He always follows this the obvious way. Macbeth thinks that he should kill Banquo because the witches say that there will be a line of Banquo kings. Macbeth doesn’t want to loose the crown to Banquo or his son, so he tries to kill them both so the line will continue in his family. Macbeth also chooses to kill Macduff anyway, even though the witches said know one...

Find Another Essay On Macbeth - Hero Or Villain?

Oliver Cromwell: Hero or Villain? Essay

1813 words - 7 pages him to be a hero at all. Cromwell is a controversial figure who still has people wondering. Even now in the new millennium, people are still contemplating his place in history- hero or villain? Cromwell proudly took his place in a documentary on the top ten best Britons, and ironically, also in the top ten worst Britons. In this essay I will assess whether these acts made him a hero or a villain, using contemporary views, quotes and other sources

Muhammad Ali: Hero or Villain? Essay

2446 words - 10 pages in Ali's life this essay discusses and decides whether Ali truly is a hero or villain. Muhammad Ali was born as Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr. on January 17, 1942, in Louisville, Kentucky. As a young boy Clay was always more interested in boxing than his studies. This passion for boxing began when Ali's bike was stolen as a young teenager. Clay reported the crime to a policeman who referred him to boxing trainer Fred Stoner. This would be the

Christopher Columbus: Hero or Villain

2140 words - 9 pages CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS HERO OR A VILLAIN? “It was a miracle that Columbus found America, but it would have been more the miracle if he had not”, Mark Twain from Pudd’nhead Wilson’s Calendar quoted. Genon born Cristobal da Colon and then later was called Christopher Columbus who ended up in the literatures of times and his own secret signatures but nevertheless his missions were read and uncovered centuries after centuries. Christopher Columbus a

Ned Kelly a hero or a villain?

1009 words - 4 pages How does a man hanged for murder, become an Australian national hero? Ned was just 16 when he was convicted of receiving a stolen horse and served three years in gaol before being released in 1874. Whether or not he was set for a life of crime is hard to say, but one event had a dramatic effect on determining his future and that was in April 1878. A police officer called Fitzpatrick accused Ned's mother of attacking him and Ned of shooting him

Simplistically put, Columbus--Hero or Villain?

813 words - 4 pages My personal opinion? Villain. Christopher Columbus was a nasty man who was motivated by greed. “The information that Columbus wanted most was: Where is the Gold” (Zinn 4)? He logged in his journal his first encounter with the Arawak people, stating “As soon as I arrived in the Indies, I took some of the natives by force in order that they might give me information of whatever there is in these parts” (Zinn 4). Their crime? “They wore tiny gold

John Miltons's Paradise Lost: Is Satan a Villain or Hero?

2015 words - 8 pages The question of whether Satan is the hero or the villain of John Milton’s Paradise Lost has been largely debated by scholars over the centuries. The ones who believe Satan is the villain of the epic, more commonly known as the Anti-Satanists, tend to argue that Satan is too foolish to be considered a hero, as his “hostility to Almighty power” is ultimately a futile endeavour (as God’s power is omnipotent) (Carey, 135). C.W. Lewis, also an anti

Venom is the Most Entertaining Super Villain or Hero

1309 words - 5 pages entertaining to watch, but only one can beguile, compel and entertain as well as Venom, a nemesis of Spider-Man. Venom is the most captivating super-villain to follow due to his in-depth dual lives and his dual consciousnesses. Despite any super-powers that a superhero or super-villain may posses the most compelling aspect of his or her life is, without a doubt, the dual life that he or she possesses. This is true because that dual life is

Was Napoleon Bonaparte a Hero or a Villain?

1653 words - 7 pages Was Napoleon Bonaparte a hero or a villain? During the Napoleonic Era, from 1799 to 1815, France became a military power gaining and controlling land throughout Europe. While some historians believe Napoleon Bonaparte was a ruthless dictator, his military accomplishments far outweigh any atrocities he committed. He helped France gain stability after the French Revolution and he also abolished the Feudal contract. Napoleon was a brilliant

Julius Caesar: Hero or Villain Was His Assassination Justified?

1377 words - 6 pages In the determination of whether Julius Caesar was an intelligent, political hero or an egocentric, dictating villain, it is important to look at all of the facts. Born in 100 B.C.E. and assassinated in 44 B.C.E., Julius Caesar was legendary. He along Pompey, and Crassus created the first unofficial Triumvirate which was negotiated to appease both the Roman citizens and the power hungry rivals. Still, this agreement would not last long. After

Is Macbeth a hero or villian?

616 words - 2 pages Throughout the play Macbeth, there are many crimes and manipulating. Macbeth plans most murders for superiority. This makes us wonder if Macbeth is a hero or a villain. With that Macbeth is both a hero and villain from different perspectives.In the beginning of the play, Macbeth and Banquo go to war against Macdonwald and his band of rebels. Macbeth was a great warrior which in return defeated Macdonwald. Duncan rewarded Macbeth with the title

Examining Whether or not Brutus is a Hero or Villain in Shakespeare's Play Julius Caesar

1093 words - 4 pages “You either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become the villain.” Harvey Dent, The Dark Knight. This quote can be assimilates to Brutus in Shakespeare’s play, Julius Caesar. In a way he died as a hero but he did live long enough and saw himself becoming the villain. Throughout the play, Brutus had been consumed in a lot of drama and deaths. The readers can tell the internal arguments he has with himself about it too. In William

Similar Essays

Macbeth: Hero Or Villain Essay

4118 words - 16 pages Macbeth: Hero or Villain In this essay, I will be divulging into 'Macbeth' written by William Shakespeare in 1603, to try and answer the question 'Was Macbeth a true hero or villain in the play?'. Macbeth is a play of villainy, murder, deceit and oftenly described as a 'play fit for a king'. In my personal opinion, the evidence from Shakespeare's original text and Roland Polanski's video version strongly suggests that

Hero, Villain, Or Both: The Transformation Of Macbeth

1166 words - 5 pages . As the plot progressed, and the witches came into play, Macbeth started to morph into a character that would not hesitate to murder someone as prestigious as a King or someone as kind as his closest friend. We witnessed a complete change of heart from Macbeth, as his greed and lust to become King changed his attitude and outlook on life. All these atrocious actions by Macbeth come back to haunt him, as he becomes the one being betrayed, and justice is served to Scotland.

Macbeth Villain Or Victim Essay

1051 words - 5 pages Vulnerability, murder, and betrayal give me reason to believe that Macbeth is both a victim and a villain. His weak mind, unchecked ambition, and power hungry attitude eventually led to his downfall. Macbeth has changed multiple times throughout the play. Macbeth starts as an innocent hero. He then makes his transition into a villain and soon enough, transitions back into the victim role. When Macbeth is first introduced to the audience, he is

Christopher Columbus: Villain Or Hero? Essay

618 words - 2 pages Columbus was by no means the discoverer of America. Until the day he died, Columbus believed he was in India. He was not the first person in America or even the first European to set foot on American soil. He did not bring slavery and oppression to America. He did, however, spur interest in the new land, which ultimately resulted in the founding many countries, including the United States of America. For this reason, Columbus should not be viewed as a villain, but rather a hero by the citizens of countries in the Americas.