Shakespeare's Macbeth: A Tragic Hero

Decent Essays
The story of Macbeth is a heartbreaking story in which a valiant hero, known as Macbeth, is transformed into a corrupt and wicked ruler. He ends up driving himself so insane from his own guilt of murdering others that he actually makes his guilt so obvious that he ends up getting killed. The one who slays Macbeth and saves Scotland from Macbeth’s terrible reign is a noblemen known as Macduff. It is fair to say that Macduff was in Macbeth’s same position before he came to power in which he had killed the traitor and become a hero. Even though the story ends with Macduff killing the wicked and villainous ruler that is Macbeth and becoming the hero of the story, Shakespeare instead foreshadows his tragic fall, rather than continuing the heroic…show more content…
In the story he is known as the traitor whom Macbeth kills to achieve honor and glory, and to become the Thane of Cawdor. Lines 9-20 from Act 1, Scene 2 states “The merciless Macdownald (worthy to be a rebel, for to that The multiplying villainies of nature Do swarm upon him) form the Western Isles of kerns and gallowglasses is supplied; and fortune, on his damned quarrel smiling, Showed like a rebel’s whore. But all is too weak; For brave Macbeth (well he deserves that name), Which smoked with bloody execution, Like valor’s minion, carved out his passage till he faced the slave”. From analyzing this quote, it is fair to assume Macdonwald must have been some sort of hero or important figure in order to achieve the title as Thane of Cawdor and to be fighting in an important battle. However, his downfall was turning against Scotland and becoming a traitor. Macdownwald is Shakespeare’s first reference to the theme that power corrupts. Given that he was the Thane of Cawdor, which includes having power, he eventually became corrupt. This ended up putting him down the tragic hero cycle and having his tragic flaw determine his fate. When Macbeth killed Macdownwald and became the initial hero of the story, it is almost as if it put a curse on Macbeth that now it will be him to travel down the tragic hero
Get Access