William Shakespeare’s Macbeth Is Clearly A Dramatic Tragedy, But Can

1522 words - 6 pages

William Shakespeare?s Macbeth is clearly a dramatic tragedy, but can the main character truly be referred to as a tragic hero? A tragic hero enters a Shakespearean play as a figure of royalty, fame and/or greatness. However, this person routinely suffers a harsh and dramatic downfall due to flaws in their personality, evil seeds that can be self-produced or planted by others. These flaws are what influence the character?s often heinous actions. Throughout the play, the tragic hero suffers immensely and battles with their conscience even after a specific desire has been reached or accomplished. Even after committing such crimes, the battles with conscience typically trigger sympathy from the audience.At the beginning of the play Macbeth, the title character already has a modest degree of greatness about him. He has the title ?Thane of Glamis,? and early in the play, he is also granted with ?Thane of Cawdor.? Although this establishes his recognition as an important figure of responsibility, it does not tell the reader much about Macbeth?s personality. However, the Captain praises Macbeth hugely by telling us of his ?bravery.? For example, the captain says, ?For brave Macbeth ? well he deserves that name.? The King also uses the word ?worthy,? which indicates that Macbeth must be worthy of his title and reveals the king?s appreciation of him. At the end of Act 1 Scene 2, Duncan says in reference to the Thane of Cawdor, ?What he hath lost, noble Macbeth hath won,? and indicates that Macbeth is to be granted with the new title. Again, Macbeth is praised and described as noble. We are beginning to see some key attributes of a Shakespearean tragic hero in the man.Macbeth?s two major personality flaws are rooted in his ambition and impressionability. Ambition is not necessarily a bad thing. Yet in the case of Macbeth, his determination is extremely unhealthy and impossible to stop, leading him to partake in actions that are both wrong and immoral. Macbeth proves that these ambitions exist in Act 1 Scene 4, by saying, ?Let not light see my black and deep desires.? This shows that such evil ambitions do exist, and that the character does not want to showcase these flaws. Macbeth?s most famed ambition is to be King of Scotland, and this personal goal is brought about by way of his impressionism. The witches are supposedly able to predict the future. Early in the play they hail Macbeth as the ?Thane of Cawdor,? before he has been given the title. Macbeth is subsequently granted with that title. The witches also say, ?All hail Macbeth, that shalt be king hereafter.? Macbeth now knows that he will be king and this inevitably increases his ambition and alters his actions throughout the rest of the play. The witches say to Banquo, ?Thou shalt get kings, though thou be none.? This line implies that Banquo?s children will be King, as the word ?get? shows possession.In reality, the witches are not out to help Macbeth. In Act 3 Scene 5, Hecate, the queen of...

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