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

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

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

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.

Middle

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.

Conclusion

(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.

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'. ...

    Banquo then advises Macbeth wisely, saying that: The instruments of darkness tell us truths, Win us with honest trifles, to betray's In deepest consequence. The message Banquo is trying to get across is that in order to bring about our destruction, sometimes the forces of evil tell us simple truths, leading us to trust them.

  2. Macbeth: Hero or Villain?

    As he informs Macbeth that Banquo was brutally killed, Macbeth feels greatly relieved, but he informs Macbeth that Fleance has escaped, this brings back all his worries and doubts; "then comes my fit again". Macbeth returns to the banquet and makes a toast. But to Macbeth's horror Banquo's Ghost appeared.

  1. How can blame be apportioned in “Macbeth”?

    Still in her sleep, Lady Macbeth asks, "what, will these hands ne're be clean?" foreseeing that she will never have peace of mind. She also retells events of the day Duncan was murdered. The doctor tells the gentlewoman that what Lady Macbeth needs is spiritual and not physical help.

  2. Macbeth: Tragic Hero or Villain?

    Macbeth's evil plans go a step further when he hires assassins to kill his best friend and his son, Banquo and Fleance. Again he trusts the witches over his best friend, and again his wife spurs him on. Banquo's sons are to be kings according to the witches so Macbeth

  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. Macbeth: Tragic Hero or Dead Butcher?

    Lady Macbeth doesn't even ask Macbeth to go along with the plan; she orders him "...be the serpent under't...leave the rest to me." The fact that Macbeth is capable of rational and sensible thoughts at the beginning of the play, makes the audience afraid for the future of Macbeth's future

  1. Do you consider Macbeth a tragic hero?

    the nearest way" Lady Macbeth thinks that Macbeth is far too kind of a person to carry out the necessary actions to be king alone. I think that Lady Macbeth is more eager for Macbeth to be king than Macbeth is himself. She begins to plan the murder of Duncan.

  2. Macbeth- tragic hero or bloody tyrant?

    loyal to him and he was looked upon as a great warrior by the country as well. But Lady Macbeth soon changed Macbeths mind about that though.

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