Is Macbeth a Tyrant or a Tragic Hero?

650 Words3 Pages
A tragic hero is someone whos fatal flaw, combined with other external factors, bring about ones demise, which is demonstrated by Macbeth in Shakespeares play Macbeth. Macbeth is portrayed as a courageous, brave and noble man who was haunted by superstition and an overpowering ambition. Factors that contributed to the degeneration of Macbeth include the prophecies told to him by the witches, the influence and manipulation of his wife, Lady Macbeth, and finally, Macbeths deep driven intent to become king. Although seen as a daring and valiant hero at the beginning of the play, Macbeths evil desires and long time ambition causes his downfall. Even though Macbeth seems like a malevolent and murderous tyrant towards the end of the play, he…show more content…
After Macbeth had slaughtered King Duncan, he was filled with a guilty conscience, regretting his wrong. His wife however, thought he was infirm of purpose. This was the first murder that Macbeth had experienced, however after the first murder, killing seemed to be the only solution to maintain his reign as king. Therefore, it was Lady Macbeth who introduced Macbeth to murder, turning him into a murderous villain and leading him to his decadence. Macbeths ambition influenced his declining character and led to his demise. Although Macbeths ambition had not been strong enough to carry the motive to kill King Duncan, with the added contribution of Lady Macbeths influence, his ambition was intensified enough to drive him to obtain and maintain his title as King of Scotland at no matter the cost, even the life of his good and loyal friend, Banquo. Although Macbeth did not have the mental strength to murder King Duncan on his own, he had the black and deep desires hidden in his heart. It was this fuelled ambition that ultimately led to his downfall. All in all, it was the combined factors of the witches prophecies, Lady Macbeths manipulation and plan, and ultimately, Macbeths intensified ambition that all contributed greatly to the degeneration of his character, resulting in his downfall. Macbeth was never a tyrant to begin with, although as his desires and wickedness grew, so did he develop the
Get Access