Macbeth As A Tragic Hero

Decent Essays

Lauren Seidewand
February 13th 2017
Macbeth as a Tragic Hero

A tragic hero can be described as a character obtaining heroic qualities that is, at the same time, destined for their own downfall. Unfortunately, Macbeth is an example of a character that has this title. In Shakespeare’s time during the writing of the play was the reign of King James of England, and the play ‘Macbeth’ reflects on Shakespeare’s own relationship with this king. Someone of great honour, respect and nobility often times is bound to have some sort of flaw to them, and in the case of Macbeth, a tragic flaw that is responsible for the dark pathway to absolute self-destruction and utter madness. In the play …show more content…

It is saying that what the traitor has lost, Macbeth has gained; which is the Thane of Cawdor. This is another representation of how greatly Macbeth was respected by the noble King, so much that he describes him as “noble Macbeth” and grants him the honorable title of Thane of Cawdor. Through these events, it is apparent that Macbeth acquires a great deal of nobility, honor and social importance, all of which contribute to the concept of the tragic hero. Although Macbeth starts off by obtaining these qualities, it also means that when he falls, he falls from a height of prosperity. What leads to this downward spiral is the second aspect of the tragic hero: the fatal flaw.

Secondly, Macbeth is defined as a tragic hero because of his flaw- his uncontrolled ambition. The witches’ prophecies mark the start of this pathway to self-destruction, when he starts having these thoughts of murdering King Duncan. With a taste of power and some ‘help’ from his manipulative, conniving wife, Macbeth is turned from a noble, loyal soldier into a bloodthirsty killer. "Stars, hide your fires; Let not light see my black and deep desires." (1.4.52). This quote by Macbeth is said as he is contemplating his first murder – King Duncan. Macbeth has great respect for Duncan, but is so trapped in his weakness that he will stop at nothing to get what he wants. It demonstrates how a lust for power can lead a moral person to do immoral things. This is

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