Macbeth as a Tragic Hero

1453 Words Apr 4th, 2011 6 Pages
To what extent do you think Shakespeare presents Macbeth as a tragic hero?
The 17th century play, ‘Macbeth’ by William Shakespeare, was written during a time when James the first became the first king of both Scotland and England. The characters in the play are also based upon his descendants. The play itself focuses on the character of Macbeth who is manipulated into committing regicide by 3 witches. As the play progresses, both him and his wife begin to lose all sense of morality, resulting with both of their deaths in the end. Macbeth is portrayed as a tragic hero, but it is debatable as to whether he is constructed by Shakespeare to follow a classical or renaissance model.
At the start of the play, Macbeth is presented as a highly
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Within the play, Lady Macbeth occupies a large role towards the development of Macbeth’s final disposition. After hearing news of Macbeth’s plans, Lady Macbeth summons spirits: ‘Come, you spirits that tend on moral thoughts, unsex me here And fill me from the crown to the toe topfull Of direst cruelty’ could imply that she has contact with evil spirits but it can also infer that she has no cruelty and needs to be given it. In addition, Shakespeare has used ‘unsex me here’ to display how she feels the need to put aside all natural femininity in order to commit the bloody deeds that are necessary to seize the crown. Nevertheless, after Macbeth’s arrival she takes it upon herself to plan the murder and even has to manipulate Macbeth into committing the regicide. ‘I would... have plucked my nipple from his boneless gums and dashed the brains out, had I sworn as you have done this’. Even though it is never mentioned as to how or when they’re child died, Lady Macbeth tells the reader that she has had a child at some point. Furthermore, she tells Macbeth that she would of rather smashed her own baby’s head in than watch him cower out of killing the king. After hearing her say this he still has his doubts but she inevitably persuades him into it. Because of this, there is a possibility that Lady Macbeth is Macbeth’s fatal, tragic hero, flaw (harmartia). Altogether, Shakespeare has used the

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