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The Tragedy of Macbeth - Is Macbeth a Tragic Hero?

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Introduction

The Tragedy of Macbeth Is Macbeth a Tragic Hero? Aristotle a Greek Philosopher born in 384 BC greatly influenced the works of William Shakespeare although they lived centuries apart. Aristotle had a definition of a tragic hero; Shakespeare incorporated Aristotle's definition into some of his most famous works. But when Shakespeare wrote Macbeth did he define Aristotle's ideas of what makes a tragic hero into his play? The play begins with the three witches and we hear them make some predictions, which sets the supernatural theme to the play and gives an insight into future events of the play. They predict they are going "upon the heath to meet Macbeth". This is our first introduction to Macbeth in the play. Shakespeare uses the witches to fit in with the historical time the play was written, the Renaissance, James I was on the throne and Shakespeare wrote the play knowing that James was interested in and was fearful of witches. ...read more.

Middle

This is support again that Macbeth is a tragic hero, because this shows that Macbeth has bad characteristics. But although Macbeth did physically kill Duncan, Macbeth had a strong force behind him, his wife Lady Macbeth. Lady Macbeth begins to scheme so to influence Macbeth and asks herself if Macbeth is evil enough to get his goal, "I fear thy nature, it is too full o'th'milk of human kindness to catch the nearest way." But she begins to think if she could manipulate him so much as if to put her character into him, "That I may pour my spirits in thine ear and characterise with the valour of my tongue." Lady Macbeth then goes on to taunt Macbeth into performing the crime of killing Duncan by questioning his manhood and bravery, "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." ...read more.

Conclusion

Macbeth has lost self-belief in his life in one of his soliloquies, "Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow creeps in this petty pace from day to day... out, out brief candle, life's but a walking shadow." The tragic hero always falls in the end, that is why he is called a tragic hero. Lady Macbeth has already died because of Macbeth's vaulting ambition, and Macbeth falls to his death in battle. "I will try the last. Before my, body I throw my warlike shield" As a result of all the flaws of a tragic hero Macbeth has fallen to his death. The evidence from the play suggests that Macbeth was Aristotle's version of a tragic hero and Shakespeare portrayed this well throughout the play with the language he used. The play is a long thread leading from one situation to another, if Macbeth hadn't listened to the witches from the start would he have gone ahead and killed Duncan? He wanted the power so much one thing lead to another and his bad judgement on the situations he was in lead him to his fall. Nadia Khalaf English Coursework ...read more.

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