Macbeth: The Tragic Hero Essay

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In William Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Macbeth is a classic example of a tragic hero who is constantly struggling with his fate. In the opening scene of the play Macbeth receives a prophecy from three witches. They proclaim that he will be the thane of Cawdor. He responds by saying, “By Sinel’s death I know that I am thane of Glamis/ but how of Cawdor”(I, iii, 70-73)? At first, he does not realize to earn this title what he must do, but when he realizes he is taken aback. His bewilderment prefigures his perpetual struggle with his fate. Macbeth also is excessively ambitious which constantly affects him throughout the play. He is too determined to become king and will kill anyone to ensure that this will transpire. Macbeth’s struggle and…show more content…
Although Macbeth has his doubts, he goes through with his immoral plan. He hallucinates and sees a bloody dagger as a result of his guilty conscience. “Macbeth’s emotions are the struggles of conscience; his agonies are the agonies of remorse. They are lessons of justice, and warnings to innocence” (Montagu). Struggling with his fate, Macbeth is acting as a classic tragic hero. After the violent murder of the King, Macbeth is completely defiled. He uses treachery and will extirpate anyone who poses a threat to him. This is clearly demonstrated when Macbeth reveals his plan to kill Banquo. According to Thomas Thrasher, “Macbeth continues on his murderous course of action because he is determined to hold the crown” (77). The murder of Banquo proves this to be true, because it exposes Macbeth’s draconian nature. Macbeth hires murderers to kill Banquo and his son, Fleance, because they appear to be a threat to him. According to the witches’ prophecy a descendent of Banquo would become the next king. Macbeth’s obsession with the witches’ prophecy results in the murder of Banquo. The murder of Banquo illustrates different characteristics of Macbeth’s personality. An example of this is the change in Lady Macbeth’s influence in her husband’s affairs. At first she helped Macbeth plan the murder of the king and insulted his manhood when he began to have doubts. When Macbeth decides to kill Banquo, oddly Lady Macbeth

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