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

Do you consider Macbeth a tragic hero?

Extracts from this document...


Cassie Flowers Do you consider Macbeth a tragic hero? In his play, "Macbeth" Shakespeare casts the main character, Macbeth as a tragic hero. A tragic hero is a person of high or noble birth, who is virtuous but not overly just, and through some tragic flaw brings about their own destruction and gains wisdom through suffering. Macbeth is a tragic hero because through his life he makes choices and decisions that consequently shape his future. When Macbeth makes the wrong choice, after being convinced by his wife to kill Duncan, he immediately influences the outcome of his life. Macbeth does not realise the significance of the choices he makes, and later comes to realise how much they really mean. In the beginning the audience sees Macbeth as a hero, fighting for his king and country. It comes as a shock when Macbeth goes against all that he believes in and slays the king. The audience feels that the fall of Macbeth is a terrible waste of human greatness and bravery. When Shakespeare wrote Macbeth about the history of Scotland. King James I had recently come to the throne and had a great interest in the theatre. He became the protector of Shakespeare's theatre company. Shakespeare's play was very much shaped by James I and his situation. James I had a say in the content of the would need to approve the context of the play that should include the fact that someone who killed the king and went against his country would be eventually slain himself, also during the time that the play was being written Guy Fawkes' plot against King James had come to light. ...read more.


The antithesis is part of the appearance Vs reality, "False face must hide what the false heart does know" assures Macbeth. I think that the witch's prophecies triggered off Macbeth's desire to be king. Lady Macbeth made these desires stronger by criticising him and then Macbeth decided himself what he thought was the right thing for him to do. As he had received more criticism and was being told that he should murder, that he should be King Macbeth decided to kill Duncan. I feel that if Macbeth hadn't been driven to murder by Lady Macbeth the king then he wouldn't have done it, as he couldn't have done it himself. And because of this I think that Macbeth's downfall is as much Lady Macbeth's fault as it is his own. Macbeth knows what's morally right, however, his own greed and ambition overrule his conscience and he decides to act on his decision. After killing Duncan Macbeth is filled with panic and regret. His conscience tears away at him. Macbeth is filled with many emotions, but the main emotion is fear. Macbeth fears many things in the play because of this. Macbeth is afraid of thoughts, what others think, his actions, the consequences of these actions, the future, Banquo, Fleance, death and most importantly fate. Macbeth is even afraid of fear itself. Macbeth is afraid that he will no longer be able to pronounce "Amen" and afraid that he will not be able to sleep. ...read more.


Conclusion I think that the downfall of Macbeth has greatly mattered to the audience. Macbeth wanted to become king so as he could achieve something in his life and be remembered as "Brave King Macbeth" instead of just "Brave Macbeth" to make people proud of him. He tried his hardest to win high titles, but goes about it in all of the wrong ways. After the first murder Macbeth has no choice but to carry on murdering as he cannot stop himself. Macbeth was afraid of fear itself. This scared him, but not enough to stop him, which just shows how determined Macbeth was to become king. I think that Macbeth's final downfall is caused by the fact that his guilty conscience rules his life. I do feel sorry for Macbeth, as even though what he did was evil, his reason was that he wanted fulfilment in life. The only way he thought he could achieve this was to kill Duncan. Macbeth thought that after he had killed Duncan he would be king without any problems, fear caught up with him and he became obsessed with keeping the crown and saw everybody as a threat, even thought they weren't. He became trapped and fearful. After he had committed one murder he had to commit more, which became out of control. Macbeth was a tragic hero. In the end he eventually fell to pieces, but remained fighting for his beliefs, although these beliefs changed from believing that Scotland should stand proud, to believing that he was an invincible king, Macbeth maintained the bravery and strength that he displayed in the beginning, which was the main strength in his character. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE 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 GCSE Macbeth essays

  1. macbeth- appearance vs reality

    This is a deceiving matter because strange women, also known as the three witches, are telling them these prophecies that have never been heard of before. However, when it does come true then it is like another thing that is not what it seemed because no one really expected the prophecies to come true.

  2. What is the Significance of the Witches in Macbeth?

    This darkness links back to the witches and their themes of black, dark evil. Animals are flying in strange patterns - such as owls and horses who are behaving uncontrollably. Because Macbeth acted on the witches influence, we see that it isn't just Duncan who has been affected; nature has as well.

  1. Imagery Of Appearance and Reality in Macbeth

    In the following scene we learn that Macbeth is "sick at heart" and later in the scene he asks the Doctor, in reference to Scotland to "find her disease, And purge it to a sound and pristine health". Ironically, Macbeth does not recognise that it is he who is Scotland's disease.

  2. 'Macbeth' gives us a classic example of the literary definition of a 'tragic hero'. ...

    She is now in charge. Speaking on behalf of all present, Duncan tells Lady Macbeth that they 'love him highly'. He, ironically, is referring to the new Thane of Cawdor. Macbeth's first soliloquy is presented to us at the end of the first act.

  1. Macbeth is more a victim than a villain. He is a tragic hero. Show ...

    This creates dramatic irony. When he speaks of the murder of Banquo, he reverts to the earlier images of light, darkness and invokes the supernatural hetace, `whilst nights black agents, to their preys do rouse,' `light thickens.' This shows us the villain in Macbeth's character.

  2. Appearance and Reality in Macbeth

    The witches mesmerized Macbeth at their first meeting and his intense questioning greatly contradicts the light-hearted quips Banquo teases them with as he comments on their bizarre appearance. Yet, Macbeth solemnly and directly asks them to speak. This combination of both his good nature and self-ambition eventually leads to his downfall.

  1. Macbeth- tragic hero or bloody tyrant?

    wanting to get people murdered, he does now not need his wife's persuasion instead he now persuades murderers to kill people an do his dirty work for him. He is also much more of a paranoid person he suspects people of knowing he killed Duncan which is making him suffer of paranoia.

  2. Macbeth as a Tragic Hero

    Or might he be trying to impress her with his bravery and achievement - to prove her that he is a man? At he end of this scene (Act I, Sc.v) he is not committal to her proposal - he says "We shall speak further".

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