Is Macbeth a Tragedy?

2186 Words Nov 6th, 2012 9 Pages
A tragedy is often thought of as a sad, pitiful event. The factors used to label an event as tragic are the consequences and the lasting effects. For example, the consequences of one or more deaths can be seen as a tragedy. And tragedies are often remembered long after the event, clearly impacting the future for those involved. Many people interpret events such as a natural disaster, a death of a loved one, or a permanent disability as tragic. However, others say that this definition of a tragedy is incorrect and is misused in modern conversation. The people who think this way use the word tragedy to define literature. The literary definition of the word requires more careful consideration of the character and the overall effect of the …show more content…
He shows this by saying if he had “died and hour before this chance, [he would have] lived a blessed time” (2.3.103-104). Without a doubt, the play arouses fear and pity in the audience.
In addition to arousing pity and fear in the audience, the play calls into question man’s relationship with God. At the start of the play, Macbeth’s relationship with God is good. Macbeth fought nobly and courageously for a good cause, defeating the traitor to the king. Similarly, at the end of the play, Young Siward also fights nobly and dies for a good cause, defeating Macbeth. For this reason, Young Siward is described as “God’s soldier” (5.8.55). Therefore, Macbeth could also be described as “God’s soldier” (5.8.55) up until he murders Duncan. As the King of Scotland, Duncan can be viewed as God. By killing Duncan, Macbeth has killed God. As a result, Macbeth has become the opposite of God, the devil. From this point on, Macbeth’s relationship with God is bad. At the scene of the murder, Macbeth could not say “Amen.” After committing a terrible crime, he “had most need of blessing, and ‘Amen’ stuck in [his] throat” (2.2.47-48). These events show that Macbeth’s relationship with God is questionable, which is one of the characteristics of a tragedy in literature.
Another characteristic of a literary tragedy is that the tragic figure must be capable of great suffering. The tragic figure in
Open Document