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Macbeth Essay - ‘Macbeth Tyrant or Tragic Hero?

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Introduction

Macbeth Essay - 'Macbeth Tyrant or Tragic Hero?' Discuss The character of Macbeth is a classic example of a Shakespearean tragic hero. There are many factors which contribute to the degeneration of Macbeth of which three will be discussed. The three points which contribute greatly to Macbeth's degeneration are the prophecy which was told to him by the witches, how Lady Macbeth influenced and manipulated Macbeth's judgment, and finally Macbeth's long time ambition which drove his desire to be king. Macbeth's growing character degenerates from a noble man to violent individual. The prophecies which were told by the witches were one of the factors which contributed to the degeneration of his character. If it had not been for the witches telling him that he was to be Thane of Cawdor, Thane of Glamis, and King of Scotland, Macbeth would still be his ordinary self. As a result of the prophecies, this aroused Macbeth's curiosity of how he could be King of Scotland. As the play progresses, Macbeth slowly relies on the witches prophecies. Shakespeare uses the witches as a remedy for Macbeth's curiosity which corrupts his character. The influence of Macbeth's wife, Lady Macbeth also contributed to his degeneration of character. ...read more.

Middle

Therefore Macbeth character displays strong signs of a tragic hero, making him the ideal classic example. At the beginning of the play Macbeth is seen as a courageous soldier who is loyal to the King but is corrupted from the witches' prophecies and by his and Lady Macbeth's ambition. Their marriage is of convenience for Lady Macbeth, but for Macbeth it is more than that. He loves his wife, and she takes advantage of that. She is continuously making him feel guilty, for being weak, and challenges his manhood, with these words "When you durst do it, then you were a man, and, to be more than what you were, you would be so much more the man." (I, VI, 50-52), which means, Be a man, and I will love you as one. Macbeth is a hero to Scotland, and a strong person. He is a Lord under the rule of King Duncan, and he has no reason to feel unhappy with where he is in life. It's after the meeting with the witches, that he begins to desire the throne, but he still needs Lady Macbeth to convince him to commit the murder, when he questions the consequences and asks "If we should fail?" ...read more.

Conclusion

The witches also said that Banquo would beget kings but he himself would never be king after Macbeth, and so Macbeth decides that Banquo is a threat to him. To get rid of the treat with banquo he decides to kill him and his son Fleance. At this point Macbeth is no longer the true and noble thane he once was, he is a tyrant who took the crown by force. He is evil because he killed the king with the help of his wife but becomes evil on his own because he goes off by himself in plotting the death of banquo and fleance and latter on to all of the people in the house hold of macduff. Macbeth no longer needs the push from his wife and does this on his own showing his true character. From a noble thane with graceful word such as "The service and the loyalty I owe, In doing it, pays itself"(I,iv,23-24), to words of a tyrant such as "I will not Yield, To kiss young Malcolm's feet." (V, vii, 28-29). Showing his disloyalty to the true and rightful king. The process form the noble thane to the tyrant is a slow one but in the end Macbeth is evil, receiving a rightful tyrant's death. ...read more.

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