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

To what extent does Macbeth fulfil the role of a tragic hero

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

To what extent does Macbeth fulfil the role of a Shakespearean Tragic Hero? Macbeth is a typical Shakespearean tragedy; the theory of Shakespearean tragedy is very similar to Greek tragedy but has a few differences. Shakespearean is based on a central character, where the main character is of noble birth making their fall from grace (decasibus) greater. The character usually has a tragic flaw and will hurt innocents by their actions. The audience will feel a since of waste as the central character tries to redeem themselves and finally dies. Shakespearean tragedy is on Greek tragedy but was adjusted to fit the renaissance period and the Christian views of that time. Greek tragedy is based on fate whereas Shakespearean tragedy is based on free will; the writer tries to make the audience aware of their actions by making the main character and the play relevant to their own lives. In Greek tragedy it is different as they depend on Greek gods using disguise to kill each other such as Oedipus. ...read more.

Middle

At the beginning of the play Macbeth is portrayed as a brave man whose performance in Scotland's battle is celebrated. This is clearly evident courage in defence of Scotland in the opening scene. The captain describes Macbeth's actions as "Cannons overcharg'd with double cracks...Doubly redoubled stokes upon the foe", with such positive feedback Duncan cannot help but be joyous towards Macbeth. It is common to a Shakespearean tragedy for the hero to have a tragic flaw, for example: * King Lear was driven by pride * Hamlet by revenge * Julius Caesar by greed * Othello by jealously And Macbeth is no difference, he is driven by ambition. Macbeth is loyal to the king and proves this by winning the battle for Duncan and his country, however Macbeth's ambition to become King is too strong and his morals start to slip and every word spoken from the witches his morals become non-existent. On returning from the battle Macbeth and Banquo encounter three witches who tell them of their future, Macbeth is told "hail Macbeth...Thane of Glamis...hail Macbeth...Thane of Cawdor...hail Macbeth...King thereafter." ...read more.

Conclusion

The central character is mainly of noble birth, like Macbeth is Thane of Glamis, making the fall from grace (decasibus) greater. Ambition is the flaw that makes Macbeth fall as well as his wife's thoughts about becoming King. Even when Macbeth hears that Malcolm will be the success to the throne his moral decision is clouded by his ambition " The prince of Cumberland: that is a step-On which I must fall down, or else o'erleap, for in my way it lies." Wanting to become King and believing the witches, he will not let anything get in the way of his future. Once Macbeth arrives home his plans change once again, knowing her husband is known for going back on his decision, Lady Macbeth decides to be the push he needs to go through with his plan of killing Duncan. Deciding to kill Duncan is the start of Macbeth's decasibus as he is hurting innocents in the process to satisfy his ambition. After Duncan is killed Macbeth feels a sense of waste in himself and guilt as he releases what he has done. As Macbeth murders more and more people he hurts ...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.

    The structure in this speech is fairly simple and there is little to comment on concerning this aspect. Bar the fact that immediately previous to macbeth speaking the king says "My worthy Cawdor" this is a statement of praise and it shows how the King has placed his trust in Macbeth and he sees him as worthy.

  2. What is the role of the witches in Macbeth?

    The witches then say would you like us to say your future or their masters. Macbeth replies with ignorance he wants to see their masters. Then the first witch applies a pig that has eaten its offspring and sweat from a murderer before he is hung.

  1. Analyse 3 scenes from ‘Macbeth’ and discuss how they contribute to the play as ...

    He is not playing the role of the "perfect host", he's doing quite the opposite. So Ross tells the guests that Macbeth isn't well and they should leave. "Gentlemen rise, his highness is not well"- Lady Macbeth tells the lords to do the contrary to what Ross has said "Sit worthy friends and pray, you keep seat".

  2. How do the first three scenes foretell the tragedy of Macbeth?

    This means the witches are lying and this suggests that Macbeth is easily manipulated, this is his weakness and this weakness may lead him to his downfall and death. In Act 1 scene 3 the witches meet again as they said in "thunder" and "on a heath".

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

    He seems to believe that the crown is his due and his right. He has no qualms about killing the present king that are not selfishly related to his own welfare, and he thinks nothing of robbing the rightful heir of the crown.

  2. Discuss the role of witches in Act 1 of

    "So withered, and wild in their attire" From the sentence "that look not like th'inhibitants o'th'earth, and yet are on't?" It can be interpreted that the witches are so inconsistent compared to humans that Banquo suggests that they are not of this world and is confused as to how such a being arrived upon the earth.

  1. What is the importance of the opening scene of Macbeth and the two scenes ...

    In Act 4 Scene 1, as the witches are preparing their hellish brew, the phrase 'Double double toil and trouble' is repeated three times, evoking malicious images and symbolising the 'trouble' that their prophecies have caused Macbeth. In Macbeth the witches play an important role in creating dramatic irony, especially in Act 4 Scene 1.

  2. This essay will thoroughly canvass the main themes of Hamlet and Macbeth, and will ...

    Macduff, the Thane of Fife, joins Malcom and attack Macbeth with an army. The story finally ends with Macduff killing Macbeth and Malcom being hailed King of Scotland. In the case of Hamlet, it is a play that tells the story of a young prince whose father recently died.

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