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Macbeth a Tragic Hero.

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Macbeth a Tragic Hero In ancient Greece, plays were performed as a form of entertainment. The Greeks excelled at producing tragedies, and created the basic principles required for a traditional tragic hero. Shakespeare often used similar principles within his literature. This essay explains what is needed to create a tragic hero, and examines one of Shakespeare's greatest plays, Macbeth, and uses quotes from the play to determine whether Macbeth is a true tragic hero. The main character must portray heroic qualities, which set him or her apart from the other characters within the play. In a Greek tragedy the tragic hero must possess a fatal flaw, which will eventually lead to the corruption and downfall of the tragic hero. Several other qualities are needed to create a tragic hero, the fatal flaw must be revealed by other characters within the play, these characters become the tragic hero's nemesis, as the Greeks named them. There must also be a struggle between the tragic hero, their flaw and their nemesis, as the hero attempts to conquer the overpowering flaw, but fails. The audience must witness the tragic hero develop a new understanding of himself or herself and the world in which he inhabits. The destruction of others around the tragic hero must be witnessed before the obliteration of the tragic hero. ...read more.


It is vital that he does not show any weaknesses on the battlefield as this would be a great disadvantage to himself, and he would be very susceptible and vulnerable in battle. Lady Macbeth also shares the same ambition as Macbeth, she takes advantage of her husband's flaws to gain control of him, and uses him as an instrument to become Queen, as the witches predicted. Lady Macbeth is possibly more ambitious than Macbeth, as she plots the plan to gain control of the throne by eliminating everyone who stands in their way. The witches easily determine Macbeth's weaknesses, if Macbeth had not discovered the witches then Macbeth's ambition would not have lead him to commit the murders, and the ordeal would not have occurred. Despite Macbeth's ability to commit ruthless killing on the battlefield, Macbeth does not remain ruthless when murdering for his own benefit. He feels that he should be loyal to Duncan, his king and protect him, however his ambition succeeds in overpowering Macbeth's devotion to his King, 'We will proceed no further in this business' The guilt of the crimes that he has committed haunts him, and he is unable to rest due to this overwhelming burden, which rests upon him. The guilt is so heavy that Macbeth begins to hallucinate as a result of the emotional disturbance and lack of rest, which he must suffer. ...read more.


Despite the callousness of Macbeth and annihilation which he implemented upon those around him, the audience are left with a sense of sympathy towards Macbeth, as he had the opportunity to fulfil his deepest desires, and was overcome by the immense degree of holding the title of King of Scotland, which drove him and his wife to perpetrate the murders of his comrades and friends. I feel that in the beginning of the play Macbeth possesses the qualities of a true hero, due to the bravery and loyalty to Scotland that he shows. However as the play develops, his fatal flaws prove to be too great, and eventually lead him astray. His heroic qualities set him apart from the other characters within the play. His fatal flaws eventually lead to the corruption and downfall of Macbeth, the tragic hero. The fatal flaws are revealed by the other characters within the play, which become Macbeth's nemesis. There is also a struggle between the tragic hero, his flaw and his nemesis, however Macbeth fails to overcome the flaw. The audience witness the tragic hero develop a new understanding of himself and the world in which he inhabits. The destruction of others around the tragic hero is witnessed prior to the obliteration of himself. Finally the emotional effect upon the audience is witnessed, and there is a release of their emotions whilst watching the play. Therefore I feel that Macbeth can be regarded as a tragic hero due to the critical qualities, which he possesses. ...read more.

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