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Is Macbeth a Shakespearean Tragic Hero?

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Introduction

Is Macbeth a Shakespearean Tragic Hero? In many of Shakespeare's plays a tragic hero appears and is often the focal point. In order to conclude whether Macbeth's character falls in to that particular category. I need to consider what factors create a tragic hero. The tragic hero often originates as a figure of greatness and someone with a high social status. His greatness often degenerates due to a character flaw of some kind. The essence of many of Shakespeare's tragic heroes is that the seemingly good parts of their character turn against them and instigate their downfall. The character always suffers, which creates sympathy within the reader, especially as it is in contrast with previous happiness. Often the actions of the tragic hero create self-inflicted suffering. Other people are generally affected by his tragedy, but on differing scales depending on the play. A deep internal battle often rages within the tragic hero as he battles with his conscience, but he doesn't often listen to reason. A key factor of the tragic hero is that the audience radiate much pity and sympathy for the character. Even though he has done wrong, he was once great, and he may feel remorse for his actions. ...read more.

Middle

"I had most need of blessing and 'Amen' Stuck in my throat." Macbeth is denied the ability to turn to God. In killing the King he has commited treason against God, so his faith is refused from him. Insomnia is inflicted upon him, and Macbeth can find no solace. "We have scorched the snake, not kill'd it" This quotation conveys that Macbeth has no peace and stability; he knows he will need to keep on killing. He states his mind of "full of scorpions" clearly showing he is extremely traumatized. Macbeth progresses to be almost envious of Duncan and Banquo. "Better be with the dead... Than the torture of the mind to lie In restless ecstasy." The murders have affected him in such a way that Macbeth yearns for the appealing peacefulness of death. These hint at primary suicidal thoughts, a hugely troubled mind is conveyed. We see more evidence of Macbeth's guilt causing him great suffering when Banquo's ghost haunts him. He can no longer keep control of himself, and his mental instability is conveyed to his peers. "Thou canst not say I did it; never shake Thy gory locks at me." ...read more.

Conclusion

"Though Birnam Wood be come to Dunsinane And thou oppos'd being of no woman born, Yet I will try the last. Before my body, I throw my warlike shield." Macbeth knows his death in an inevitable fact, but despite this he fights to the bitter end. We see some of Macbeth's past greatness in his last moments. Macbeth can be portrayed as a victim, this fact and the fact that he does adds to the effectiveness of the play. It instigates a variation of emotions within the reader, which makes it an intense experience. Without Macbeth's death, much of this would be lost. This ending complies with a tragic heroes exit to a play. I conclude that Macbeth can indeed be classified as a Shakespearean tragic hero. He radiates all of the factors I first portrayed a tragic hero to have. Macbeth falls from greatness due to a character flaw, his suffering is self-inflicted and this affects others. A continual battle with his conscience is conveyed within Macbeth, and the reader is made to pity him. We are left with a classic version of a Shakespearean tragic hero, and a very compelling character. Macbeth exuberates all of the common characteristics of one of Shakespeare's favourite classifications, but is still an original figure, which greatly adds to the effectiveness of the play. ...read more.

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