• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Is Macbeth a Tragic Hero?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Is Macbeth a Tragic Hero? Aristotle defined a tragic hero using a series of points, these points showed what characteristics or situations a tragic hero would define himself/herself by. The first point was 'A Hero whose status means that his downfall will be significant, affecting many people'. We know that Macbeth's downfall will affect the future of Scotland as he is a prominent person in Scotland's society; the King. 'Do we but find the tyrants power tonight, Let us be beaten, if we cannot fight?' This shows the tyrant - Macbeth - holds so much power within his hands. Macbeth also has a good name, 'This tyrant whose sole name blisters our tongues, was once thought honest; you have loved him well;' His climb to power has affected many people as his position heightened. ...read more.

Middle

The second of Aristotle's points is 'A tragic hero is one whose suffering reveals essential truths about humanity.' These truths show themselves within Macbeth throughout the play. One of these truths is greed. This develops throughout the play and his want for power gets greater. 'Glamis, and Thane of Cawdor. The greatest is behind.' This shows he thinks the greatest is still to come, showing greed that he expects more to come. Another of these 'essential truths' about humanity is ambition. Macbeth doesn't find his own ambition though, it is pulled out of him by his wife. 'Thou wouldst be great, Art not without ambition, but without the illness should attend it.' ...read more.

Conclusion

This is revealing that everyone has desire, but sometimes it only comes out when you need it. We can see that Lady Macbeth brought out this desire in him, but he made it grow. The third of Aristotle's points to define a tragic hero is 'A hero who greatness of character and talent are tragically lost through circumstance.' We can see Macbeth's greatness of character when he comes victorious from war. 'For brave Macbeths - well he deserves that name' The war has shown how courageous and great he is. The circumstance of war, 'noble Macbeth' We have seen him triumphant. Seeing the witches was also a course of circumstance that sees Macbeth ultimately to his downfall. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Macbeth section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Macbeth essays

  1. 'This tyrant, whose sole name blisters our tongues, Was once thought honest.' Macbeth IV. ...

    The bringing together of opposites is developed further with the paradox - 'When the battle's lost, and won.' I.i, 4 Macbeth is initially presented as valiant, brave, noble, honourable, loyal and courageous by King Duncan, for whom Macbeth is a general.

  2. By considering the soliloquies, analyse how Macbeth's character changes as the play progresses.

    He uses colours again to symbolise how he is feeling at the time and also autumnal metaphors, mentioning "the Yellow Leaf" which implies that he has passed his time, he is now the yellow-wilting leaf whom is dying and will drop to the ground and be forgotten.

  1. Trace the Development of Macbeth's Character in Act One

    She tries to shame him into the murder using a lexical field of bravery. The words she uses are "Valour", "act" and "afeard", all of which would hurt Macbeth. Another example of this lexical field is in "And live a coward in thine own esteem."

  2. How Far do You Think it is True to Say that Macbeth is a ...

    It makes him weak and susceptible to manipulation. It allows her to direct him, ridicule and bully him into murdering Duncan, when he was adamant he would not. He had reasoned himself into this decision and then she robbed him of his conviction using many different means.

  1. The tragic hero and the tragic

    who always contributes in some measure to the disaster in which he perishes. The Center of the tragedy, therefore, may be said with equal truth to lie in action issuing from character, of flawed perceptions, and human frailty for which the hero is ultimately responsible.

  2. Macbeth a Tragic Hero.

    gain this immense power and control, which the witches are able to prophesise. Macbeth's other flaw is the influence that other people have over him. This flaw may originate from spending such a great amount of time in the military, taking orders from people of a higher status.

  1. Is Macbeth A Traditional Tragic Hereo

    A tragic hero should also have a great character or talent, which is tragically wasted. This greatness makes the character a hero and not just tragic. But despite this greatness of character, a tragic hero must have a 'tragic flaw'.

  2. Macbeth's transformation from a respected leader to a despised and isolated tyrant

    This is not the only abandonment that he suffers. We learn that Fleance has escaped, that Macduff refuses to come to Court at Macbeth?s strict command, and that the latter can depend so little on the loyalty of his followers that he must keep a paid servant in all their houses.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work