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

Is Macbeth loathsome or heroic or a mixture of the two in the final act of the play?

Extracts from this document...


Is Macbeth loathsome or heroic or a mixture of the two in the final act of the play? Macbeth meets most of the requirements necessary to be classed as a Shakespearean tragic hero. He is noble, courageous and brave, but unlike a tragic hero, Macbeth is very reluctant to meet his death in the final act of the play. The first line of the final act, 'They have tied me to a stake,' tells us that Macbeth cannot or will not escape. A 'stake' reminds us of sharp, pointed edges, which would suggest a violent death. He says that he 'Must fight the course', showing that he is prepared and confident for all that is approaching him. After the murder of Young Siward, Macbeth says that 'Weapons laugh to scorn', which strongly portrays his loathsomeness. ...read more.


Macbeth admits that he is already suffering from guilt, due to other crimes. This implies that Macbeth is not completely loathsome and does have some humane characteristics. Although he has murdered many people, he is feeling guilt; something that inhumane creatures would be unaware of. This helps us to feel pity on him, which also fits the criteria of being a tragic hero. A hero must be highly respected and seen as important. He must also be from a noble background. It is evident that Macbeth fits this description, as he is has held many titles, including being the King. Earlier in the play, Macbeth is described as 'My noble partner'. A partner is a friend and someone that you can trust, which Macbeth failed to be in many cases. This is clear, when Macbeth calls Banquo 'a friend', but ironically has him killed later on in the play. ...read more.


This would be as though Macbeth is worshipping Malcolm; the man who is about to kill him. Shakespeare uses the word 'young' to describe Malcolm, which would suggest that Macbeth is reluctant to be defeated by a man who is less experienced than himself. Macbeth tells Malcolm that he 'will try the last'. It appears that Macbeth is incredibly stubborn and refuses to accept that he is about to die. Macbeth shows many signs of being loathsome and disgusting throughout the play, but not completely. Although he has committed some terribly unacceptable crimes, Macbeth does still show signs of humanity; the main one being guilt. He also fits nearly all of the necessary criteria to be a Shakespearean tragic hero. In my view, Macbeth is loathsome, but this is one of the reasons that causes him to be a tragic hero. His loathsomeness makes Macbeth evil and stubborn. It is the reason for not accepting his fate, therefore I think that Macbeth is a mixture of the two. ...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. By considering the soliloquies, analyse how Macbeth's character changes as the play progresses.

    From the outset of this speech it can be said it is one which provokes sympathy for a now broken man. As the first words are "I am sick at heart" this is quite a ground breaking statement as it is Macbeth declaring he is depressed and he is emotionally

  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

    high estate, AND * a story of human actions, producing exceptional calamity in the death of such a man. As you might suspect, the action of the protagonist/tragic hero is most often motivated by external and internal conflicts, which lead to complications from which further conflicts arise--all in a kind of snowballing effect, driving the action toward a tragic resolution.

  2. Is Macbeth A Traditional Tragic Hereo

    I believe this is certainly true for Macbeth. He starts the play as Thane of Glamis, as a renowned warrior, related to and loved by the King. He has a high social standing already. Yet as soon as he hears the witches' prophesy that he will be Thane of Cawdor and king, his ambition takes over.

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