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In your opinion, can Macbeth be described as a tragic hero? You should refer closely to the play and the tradition of tragic hero's in literature

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7th March 2004 Rebecca Reynolds In your opinion, can Macbeth be described as a tragic hero? You should refer closely to the play and the tradition of tragic hero's in literature Tragedy originated in the Elizabethan period as a form of entertainment. However, many writers went against the rules of classic tragedy, so a number of tragedies written at this time show many variations. A tragedy usually has certain ingredients. For example it is a play that ends with the death of a central character and is a play that deals with universal and serious themes. Also, it is a play, which signals the audience that the final outcome is inevitable. A hero is usually the central character and a character with admirable qualities. Also, a hero can be a person with whom the audience can identify who is human and is a person who influences others and has power. To declare whether Macbeth is a tragic hero we must firstly define one. A tragic hero must be a hero whose status means that his downfall will be significant affecting many people. He/she must be a hero whose suffering reveals essentials truths about humanity and a hero whose greatness of character and talent are tragically wasted through circumstance. ...read more.


This suggests that he is compassionate. She says he is ambitious but, 'without the illness (the badness)' that should accompany ambition. Although, this is a contrast to the picture of the bloody and ferocious warrior of whom we hale been told in Act one, Scene two, yet it may still be true. Macbeth actually decides against the murder but is persuaded by his wife. She tells him, 'Thus thou must do, if thou have it' (1.5). This suggests that Macbeth, at this point, will do anything for is wife because she tells him what to do, then he gets on and does it. She makes excuses for him, which show she wants him to do it and nags constantly. However, these virtues fade as his evil ambition takes over. He starts scheming against people. Macbeth thinks to himself: 'Stars hide your fires! Let not light see my black and deep desires; The eye wink at the hand, yet let that be, Which the eye fears, when it is done, to see.' (1.4). This tells us that Macbeth does not want to know what he is doing but he needs to do it to get to where he wants to get too. The quote means that he wants to keep his eyes shut and not see what his hand is dong but let it be something which, when done, the eye will fear to look at. ...read more.


(2.2). He felt so guilty about the murder, that it kept playing with his mind so much that he would never have slept, which is a truth about humanity. Macbeth sees Banquo dead at the feast. He says to the ghost: 'Avaunt! And quit my sight! Let the Earth hide thee! Thy bones are marrow less, thy blood is cold.' (3.4). This shows that Macbeth fells terrible and responsible for Banquo's death and can get him out of his head. Macbeth is trapped by his actions. He says, 'I am blood stepp'd in so far that I can wade no more.' (3.4). Macbeth is stuck in a pool of blood, which represents his actions. He cannot get out of the pool, which represents the fact that he cannot turn back or do anything about his actions. Macbeth is numbed by murder and his wife's suicide. He says: 'Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player, That struts and frets his hair above the stage, And then is heard no more.' (5.5) He is making a deliberate decision to commit himself to evil. He has full knowledge of what he is doing. Is this because he can see that there is no way back and people will not forgive him? Or, is it because he has become so hardened that he can now think of only himself? In conclusion, Macbeth is defiantly a tragic hero and his downfall and destruction teach us important lessons about life. ...read more.

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