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If Macbeth is a tragic hero then the audience should feel sympathy for him. How far are you able to sympathize with Macbeth?

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Introduction

If Macbeth is a tragic hero then the audience should feel sympathy for him. How far are you able to sympathize with Macbeth? Macbeth is a play concerning the downfall of a good man. His emotions and actions change drastically during the story and consequently Macbeth does not always have the sympathy of the audience. William Shakespeare presents Macbeth at the beginning of the play as a brave, trusted and respected soldier. He is referred to as the following; "brave Macbeth" "valour's minion" "noble Macbeth" "valiant cousin" By the end of the play he is seen as a "cursed head" of a "dead butcher". As Macbeth's good will and trustworthiness deteriorates, the audience does not commiserate with him. The audience is unable to feel sorry for Macbeth when he kills Duncan, Banquo, Lady Macduff and her children. The betrayal and dishonesty of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are obvious in the ways they avoid calling the murder by its name but talk of 'business', 'provided for', 'deed', 'it', 'quell'. ...read more.

Middle

While taunting him, she expresses her feelings and she tells her husband that he does not love her. She explains that he cannot love her if he does not keep his promises. She tries to shock him into murdering Duncan by conjuring up images of horror, such as saying she would rather kill her baby then go against a promise. (Act 1 Scene7 Lines 54-59) She also expresses that she would give up anything for him. The final step in convincing her husband to murder King Duncan was to assure him that they would be successful and not be caught. Lady Macbeth would not contemplate failure. "But screw your courage to the sticking-place, And we'll not fail." Macbeth is naive and foolish enough to do what Lady Macbeth tells him. We empathize with Macbeth because he is not fully aware of his wife's plan and the consequences. ...read more.

Conclusion

In Act 2, Scene 2, Macbeth finds himself feeling guilty. He knows he has done wrong and has a very guilty conscience. He is so horrified that he murdered King Duncan that he is unable to look at his hands, because the blood he sees reminds him of the terrible crime he has committed. "I am afraid to think what I have done; Look on't again, I dare not." By Act 3, Macbeth is seen as a tyrant and no longer are good words said about him, but possibly the opposite. Macduff claims that: "Not in the legions Of horrid hell can come a devil more damned In evils to top Macbeth" (A4.S3.L55-7) Malcom declares: "I grant him bloody, Luxurious, avaricious, false, deceitful, Sudden, malicious, smacking of every sin That has a name." (A4.S3.L57-60) Macbeth is a tragic hero - the tragedy is that Macbeth could have been a great man, we are certainly introduced to a man of good strong character with fine qualities, but he gave in to his ambition. The audience witnesses his downfall and feel sorry for him. ...read more.

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