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How far do you consider Macbeth to be a Shakespearean tragic Hero?

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Introduction

How far do you consider Macbeth to be a Shakespearean tragic Hero? In this essay I will be exploring how far Macbeth is considered to be a Shakespearean tragic hero. According to A.C Bradley, the man who defined what a Shakespearean tragic hero is, a typical Shakespearean tragic hero is a person of greatness and high power. We can see at the beginning of the play that Macbeth is the 'Thane of Glamis' but is then promoted, due to the execution of a traitor, to the 'Thane of Cawdor'. A Shakespearean tragic hero also has many character flaws, which lead to their downfall. Macbeth is an extremely ambitious character; he knows what he wants and how to get it, even if that means murdering Duncan to become King. Macbeth battles with his conscience throughout the play, he feels imprisoned inside his own mind; this is also a trait that a Shakespearean tragic hero has. Another typical characteristic of a Shakespearean tragic hero is that they suffer, usually in contrast to their previous happier life, and they normally suffer as a result of their actions. Macbeth causes his own suffering by murdering Duncan, Macduff's family and Banquo, making the people of Scotland turn against him. Macbeth actions don't just affect him, they affect others around him, Scotland and the natural order itself. ...read more.

Middle

Macbeth shows us that he does not want to commit himself further to the murder of Duncan by saying "We will speak further". He also says to Lady MacBeth, "We will proceed no further in this business", this shows that he wants to enjoy his good reputation and not kill Duncan. MacBeth is more concerned about the fact that he might be discovered than the deed being morally wrong; when he is convinced it is fool proof he is convinced. Macbeth feels that he has a "heat oppressed brain", due to battling with his conscience. After Macbeth has murdered Duncan, his guilty conscience starts to play tricks on his mind, "Macbeth shall sleep no more". Macbeth believes he has heard a voice in his head telling him he will not be able to sleep. If Macbeth fails to sleep, it means that he will have no escape from his conscience. Another indication that Macbeth has a guilty conscience is when he says, "will all great Neptune's oceans clean this blood from my Hand? No". Macbeth realises that even if he washes the blood from his hands he cannot wash the guilt from his conscience, he will have a guilty conscience for the rest of his life. We also discover that Macbeth regrets killing Duncan; " Wake Duncan with thy knocking: I would thou couldst", Macbeth is showing clear regret for his actions and wishes that Duncan was still alive. ...read more.

Conclusion

Lady Macbeth also puts pressure on Macbeth by insulting him, "Would'st thou have that which thou esteem'st the ornament of life, and live a coward in thine own esteem". Lady Macbeth calls Macbeth a coward, this is a very insulting toward Macbeth because he has been in many battles and has been brave. Lady Macbeth tries to taunt him. I believe that Macbeth was once a great man, and he has lost it all. Some people may argue that Macbeth lost all of his greatness due to his own actions but. Macbeth would not have lost it all if Lady MacBeth wouldn't of pushed him and taunted him, MacBeth wanted to become king but was unsure about murdering Duncan. At the end of the play Macduff kills Macbeth. I think that Macbeth had to be killed at the end of the play. I think this because Macbeth being king brought pain and hardship to Scotland and also the people that lived there. Also it was inevitable that he had to die at the end of the play because he had killed Macduff's family and Macduff wanted revenge. Macbeth needed to be killed at the end of the play because of the injustice that he caused in Scotland. It was the just thing to do. Also he needed to be killed because of the concept of evil, evil needed to be destroyed to allow Scotland to function properly. English Macbeth Stephanie Batt 11 DWP, Mrs Tovey ...read more.

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