Macbeth - Tragedy Essay

1351 Words Oct 23rd, 1999 6 Pages
According to the classical view, tragedy should arouse feelings of pity and fear in the audience. Does Macbeth do this?

Tragedy has most definitely influenced the viewer's thoughts on Macbeth within this play. In Shakespeare's Macbeth, the audience sees a gradual breakdown in the character of Macbeth himself, due to the tragic events that unfold during the play. This has a direct effect on the audience's views and thoughts of Macbeth, thus creating pity and fear within the audience. Macbeth, being a man and a human being himself, is in-clined to some forms of temptation, to which man himself has quite often succumbed. The guilt that Mac-beth experiences after the death of his beloved King Duncan also experienced in every human's
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By Sinel's death I know I am Thane of Clamis But how of Cawdor? The thane of Cawdor lives, A prosperous gentleman; and to be king Stands not within the prospect of belief…"
Macbeth [I.iii.70-74]

The audience sees how Macbeth is introduced into taking over the throne of his great friend Duncan. This unleashes pity and fear within the audience, because they felt for a man succumbing to grievous temptation. The events in which took place after this increase our pity of Macbeth. The audience sees a grown, noble and mighty officer degraded into a pool of immense guilt.

Macbeth was, shortly after the murdering incident, driven insane by the immense guilt produced by his withered conscience. The dagger that was used in the killing of King Duncan haunted him before the murder took place. This tragedy in the play gives us both fear of where the sword came from and pity for Macbeth's character that had degraded to such a point that he has become paranoid.

"Is this a dagger which I see before me, The handle toward my hand? Come, let me clutch thee. I have thee not, and yet I see thee still. Art thou not, fatal vision, sensible To feeling as to sight? Or art thou but A dagger of mind, a false creation, Proceeding from the heat-oppressed brain? …"
[II.i.33-39]

The events before the murder of Duncan, which include Macbeth's fear of killing Duncan, the timing at-which it will take place; all of which these things made the audience fearful. Macbeth seemed nervous in a
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