Macbeth's Tragic Flaw Essay

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Every human being has a weakness and that weakness is pride. ‘Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled; and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted (Matthew 23:12, The Bible)’. Pride is a natural flaw that most people do not realize. Some can control it, while others let their pride blind them from logic and truth. Naturally, Macbeth has this attribute and he demonstrates it throughout the play. Shakespeare purposely introduces Macbeth as a proud character. The witches’ prophecies give him his confidence. And as his confidence grows, so does his pride until it eventually consumes his power-crazed mind.

Macbeth is introduced to the audience as a noble general and thane with quite a bit of power. This can lead one to believe that he is
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‘Two truths are told/ As happy prologues to the swelling act/ Of the imperial theme (I.iii.127-129). Macbeth enjoys the thought of perhaps becoming king in this quote. He is optimistic about the witches’ prophecies, and deep inside, he hopes that they will come true. The two truths are the prophecies of becoming thane of Glamis and Cawdor. The word ‘happy’ reveals his excitement about the possibility of being king; if one prophecy came true, why not the other? Macbeth is especially influenced by the prophecies during the end of the play. ‘[…] for none of woman born/ Shall harm Macbeth (IV.i.80-81)’. This prophecy causes Macbeth to think he is invincible. It reinforces his confidence so that he is blinded from its true meaning. However, the prophecy is confusing, since all humans are born from a mother, then logically, no human should be able to defeat Macbeth. Therefore, it is understandable why Macbeth becomes extremely hubris following this prophecy. The witches’ gave Macbeth a nudge in the beginning and then pushed him to his death in the end using the prophecies. Without the assurance of these prophecies, Macbeth would have never acted on his ambition alone and there would be no play to analyze.

Since pride is in all human beings, does that make everyone weak? It is definitely one of man’s many weaknesses and for Macbeth, his tragic flaw. His pride combined with the witches’ prophecies and a few
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