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

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

Extracts from this document...


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.


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.


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.

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

    We then come to our first introduction to an encounter with Lady Macbeth, where she is reading Macbeth's letter, in which he calls her 'my dearest partner of greatness'. This reflects the ambitious nature of the couple. Lady Macbeth has guessed what it is that Macbeth is considering in order to gain the crown.

  2. What impression do you get of Macbeth from the First Act?

    has a pleasant seat; the air Nimbly and sweetly recommends itself Unto our gentle senses.' It is ironic that a place where everything is so beautiful is really a death trap. Duncan's trust and vulnerability is shown, Shakespeare may have done this to make Macbeth's crime seem even more unfair and heinous.

  1. How far does Macbeth deserve the title "Butcher"?

    for his future, in which he would be the "root and father of many kings" so he keeps his suspicions to himself. Lady Macbeth had a strong influence over Macbeth in his decision to kill the king. Macbeth contemplates over whether or not to kill the king yet his final

  2. Macbeth: Hero or Villain?

    They finally fight and Macbeth says that he cannot be killed from one of woman born. Macduff says that he was not born naturally but "untimely ripped". At this moment Macbeth realises that he was deceived by the witches, that they were making 'double sense'.

  1. Do you consider Macbeth a tragic hero?

    He is fighting for his king and country and putting his life on the line to protect them. Because of this the audience can look at Macbeth as a hero, as he is definitely regarded upon as being one by the other characters in the play at the start, "For

  2. Macbeth: Tragic Hero or Dead Butcher?

    On the other hand, he thinks that if he kills Duncan, then he can become King of Scotland and fulfil his dream. Lady Macbeth however, wants to become Queen very badly. She knows that Macbeth has an ambition to be king but she doesn't think that it is enough to

  1. Macbeth- tragic hero or bloody tyrant?

    and that Macbeth had played dirty into how he has got where he is now. Macbeth then enters inviting him to the feast tonight and asking him if he will be out riding tonight. Banquo tells him that he will but that he will be back Macbeth then checks how

  2. ...

    For example, the simile: .....look like th?innocent flower, But be the serpent under?t. He that?s coming Must be provided for, Act 1 scene 5 Again this quote refers to the central theme of the play: appearance and reality. Therefore the fact that looks can be deceiving.

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