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


Extracts from this document...


MACBETH Aristotle - "Tragedy is a form of drama exciting the emotions of pity and fear. It's actions should be single and complete, presenting a reversal of fortune, involving persons renowned and a superior of superior attainments and it should be written in poetry, embellished with every kind of artistic expression." According to definition, a tragedy is when a hero or heroine has a personality fault which leads to a downfall in the course of their life. It's tragic because, there is nothing that the person can do to change the flaw in their personality and this evidently leads to the tragedy. Tragedy is perceived as a reversal of fortune, a fall from a high position. Aristotle first believed that tragedy was reserved only for someone of a high status or noble statue although; modern tragedy does not strictly follow this rule. According to A.C Bradley who wrote 'The substance of Shakespearean tragedy', Tragedy consists of many things. "Shakespearean tragedy must involve the death of a powerful man or woman in high estate and be of an exceptional calamity..." (Calamity means, ' a disaster or great misfortune'.) "... The death must be a deliberate action of a man or woman. It must include events leading up to the death of an important character or main protagonist and must affect the well being of a whole nation. ...read more.


Away, and mock the time with false heart doth known" As the play continues Macbeth becomes doubtful but still agrees to kill the King. As Lady Macbeth has again manipulated him with a very powerful and convincing speech. Lady Macbeth again influences Macbeth due to his flaw. "How tender 'tis love the babe that milks me. I would, while it was smiling in my face, have pluck'd my nipple from his boneless gums and dash'd the brains out, had I so sworn as you have done this" By saying this Lady Macbeth shows her ruthlessness and her evil as she says, that although she loved her baby, she would have killed it if she had promised to do so. She tries to trick Macbeth into thinking it is the right thing to do by questioning his manhood. So that he feels he is not acting manly. "What breast was't then that made you break this enterprise to me" Macbeth evidently defends his manhood stupidly as he has been manipulated into carrying out his later actions. The play moves on to the forth stage, Anagnoriosis, as at this point in the play Macbeth realises what he has done and realises he will never be able to forget or forgive himself for what he has done. "Is this a dagger which I see before me, the handle toward my hand? ...read more.


Macbeth is a classic example of tragic drama and will probably be used as a prime example for many years. We know that initially Macbeth was a good person: - "O valiant cousin, worthy gentlemen" Duncan says this at the beginning of the play, not knowing that Macbeth will be the death of him. At the start of the play Macbeth was an honest, good respected man who was loyal to his King. When his flaw kicks in though he began to walk on a path of evil. A path which he could not leave and he could never turn around and look back. Macbeth shows this when he says: - "The Prince of Cumberland: that is a step on which I fall down, or else o'er leap, for in my way it lies. Stars hide your fires, let not light see my black and deep desires" This quote shows that Macbeth's personality is slowly beginning to change. The seed of evil has been planted and Macbeth starts to lose morals and Macbeth is only interested in what affects him. Macbeth is a tragic hero, his tragic flaw being he is weak- willed and he is easily manipulated. Macbeth badly suffered from a bad case of Hubris, a great arrogance that caused him to ignore his tragic flaw without knowing it, even though he knew that what he was doing was wrong. This confirms that Macbeth was a tragic indeed along with Oedipus and many other characters. ...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. In William Shakespeare's play, Macbeth, the protagonist, Macbeth, becomes a tragic hero as a ...

    At this point in the play, Macbeth's ambition is clearly seen. This tragic flaw becomes a dangerous quality and forces him to spiral out of control. Although the witches and Lady Macbeth had key roles in influencing Macbeth's choices, it was he who made the final decisions, and he who paid for it in the end.

  2. Macbeth as a fallen hero. Two paths lay in front of Macbeth, two choices, ...

    Two paths lay in front of Macbeth, two choices, and inevitably Macbeth chose the path of power and immorality. However, without a doubt the full of this ambition and decisions was through his own wife, Lady Macbeth. Through her use of words and manipulation on Macbeth, she proved he was "a coward".

  1. Analyse the rise and fall of Macbeth

    Whereas, other characters in the play view him as a tyrant, it is possible for the audience to sympathise with him as they know he is following fate and is driven by forces beyond his control. Initially, in spite of being ambitious, it is clear that he is not easily

  2. Macbeth and Lady Macbeth develop shakespeares themes

    At the start of the play, we see the good side of Macbeth when he is battling the invading armies, which is reversed at the end of the play when Macbeth is portrayed as evil and the invading armies of Malcolm and Macduff are depicted as good.

  1. Through this essay I am hoping that I will be able to comment upon ...

    * Another belief of the Elizabethans was that if people spoke in rhyming couplets then they were witches because it was seen as an incantation by the Elizabethan people and was therefore disliked. * It was believed that witches could use a simple cauldron to make spells and potions that

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

    A tragic hero usually finds some release or resignation when facing death. This death is often inevitable. The hero might repent, or he might just be resigned to his fate. This acceptance is an element of the hero without the tragedy.

  1. The tragic hero and the tragic

    when Juliet didn't wake up a minute sooner, for example, or when Desdemona lost her handkerchief at exactly the fatal moment. You would do better to watch for what appear to be accidents that actually are connected to flaws of character or in behavior, and which are not, therefore, in the full sense, accidents.

  2. Comparing The Downfall of Man in Macbeth and Moby Dick.

    Our ambition can lead us to accomplish great tasks. In a song by the late Tupac Shakur, in which he is "driven by his ambitions, [to] desire [a] higher position" (Shakur), Tupac tells of how he was raised in a extremely poor neighborhood and worked hard to scramble his way out of poverty to become the musical success he is today.

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