Macbeth as a Tragic Hero

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The tragic hero has been a major storytelling tool in recent years that makes the audience relate to, respect, and feel sympathy for a character which is undone by the end of the story. But can this title be given to Macbeth, the titular hero of the Shakespeare play by the same name? Yes, absolutely- Shakespeare’s Macbeth follows this plot path in numerous ways. Throughout the play, we are introduced to Macbeth’s belovedness, the crushing of said established belovedness, and his own undoing.

Initially, Macbeth is introduced to the play as a noble war hero with endless talent as a tactician, a truly admirable character. In an early scene of the play, the sergeant speaks very highly of Macbeth despite not knowing him very well personally. Dying from a fatal wound and explaining what happened, he says “For brave Macbeth (well he deserves that name)/… fix’d [the enemy’s] head on our battlements!” (I.ii.15-23). This shows Macbeth has a strong following filled with admirers despite the fact many have probably not even met him. Demonstrating morality, innocence, and a lack of malicious intent, upon hearing the prophecy for the first time from the three witches, Macbeth questions it at first. Speaking aside to Banquo, Macbeth says “This supernatural soliciting/Cannot be ill; cannot be good: if ill/Why hath it given me earnest of success.../If good, why do I yield to that suggestion/Whose horrid image doth unfix my hair” (I.iii.130-135). By questioning the witches’ prophecy
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