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

The Tragic Flaws of Macbeth

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

The Tragic Flaws of Macbeth In The Poetics, Aristotle thoroughly analyzes Greek tragedies and comes to a conclusion that tragic dramas should involve a heroic protagonist with a vulnerable weakness or frailty. This weakness is known as hamartia, or more commonly called the "tragic flaw." The protagonist's hamartia hinders the person's progress and through a series of events, ultimately leads to the protagonist's downfall. Although Aristotle used the word hamartia for Greek tragedy, it can be found in many later works of literature, such as William Shakespeare's Macbeth. In this play about a Scottish king, the unfortunate character Macbeth carries the tragic flaw, or rather, flaws, which involve his tremendous guilt, ambition, and his gullibility, that lead him to his downfall. Shakespeare does a magnificent job by using Macbeth to show the terrible consequences that can result from an unchecked ambition and a guilty conscience. Those elements, combined with a lack of strong character, distinguish Macbeth from Shakespeare's other tragic heroes, such as King Lear and Richard III, both of whom are strong enough to overcome their guilty conscience. ...read more.

Middle

Macbeth's judgment is impaired since he only agrees to the ideas that will benefit him in obtaining his desires. In his twenty-eight lined soliloquy, Macbeth expresses his doubts and fears about killing Duncan, and admits that the only thing motivating him to do so is his "vaulting ambition. (I. vii. 27)" Macbeth also claims that he has already gone so far that stopping his murderous acts is now not an option; he must continue doing what he's doing: "I am in blood, stepped in so far that, should I wade no more, returning were as tedious as go o'er. (III. iv. 135-137)" His dangerous ambition seems to have no boundaries and he does whatever it takes to secure his place to the throne. At the opening of the play, the three witches prophesy to Macbeth and Banquo that Banquo will be the "father" of many kings. Upon remembering this event, Macbeth becomes uneasy and feels that "to be thus (or king) ...read more.

Conclusion

The witches convince Macbeth that he will not be killed by a person who was not woman-born, which causes Macbeth to think he is invincible: "Laugh to scorn the pow'r of man, for none of woman born shall harm Macbeth. (IV. i. 79-81)" This act of easily believing what the witches prophesied eventually leads Macbeth to his death when Macduff, who was "ripped from his mother's womb," stabs Macbeth in the battlefield at the end of the play. Unlike many other heroes in classic literature, whose flaws involve arrogance and pride, Macbeth's ambitious nature is was not exactly harmful or considered a bad thing in any way until his uncontrolled ambition and inability to remain emotionally tough after committing the crimes was met with his gullibility. This fatal combination turned Macbeth into almost a madman, motivated solely by lust for fame and power. It is exactly his great ambition and extreme gullibility that ultimately leads him to his demise. Macbeth, an individual who started out at the beginning as an honest and loyal soldier, becomes a murderous human being because of his flaws in character, thus making this play one of the greatest tragedies in the world of literature. ...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 Writing to Inform, Explain and Describe 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 Writing to Inform, Explain and Describe essays

  1. Analyse Macbeth

    This is because a diamond is a rare and expensive gem and people don't give to anyone but to only people they trust. Banquo tell Macbeth that he had a dream about the witches, and also saying that at least one part came true.

  2. The Ghost Sonata

    But no one will take anything from me. I am rich, very rich, but I have no heirs only a rascal, who plagues the life out of me. Be a son to me, be my heir while I am still alive, enjoy life so that I can watch you enjoy it if only from a distance.

  1. Who is responsible for the downfall of Macbeth and how far does he fit ...

    Because of this, they believed that natural things were controlled by the witches. They believed that witches can do various things, for example, they can control the weather, they can predict the future, they could fly, they could swim and also mostly they were women.

  2. speech about lady macbeth leading macbeth to his tragic downfall

    for that I think shows she knows that she would feel guilt and she thinks that she wouldn't be able to go through with it. And I think for her scooping so low to be begging the devil to be able to do something that would most murdering villains would

  1. Is Lady MacBeth an Evil Fiend?

    It was Lady Macbeth who realised this: 'T is safer to be that, which we destroy, Than by destruction dwell in doubtful joy". It was ironic that she was the one to point this out, as until then she had told her husband "what's done is done", but now it

  2. Vendetta - Macbeth Adaptation

    Whatever the reality of the situation, Vendetta wanted to make the most of her time with this spirit. "OPEN YOUR EYES FOR GOODNESS SAKE CHILD!" roared a less friendly voice. She wasn't so sure about opening her eyes now. But she knew that if she didn't open her eyes soon, she would be regretting it in a week or so.

  1. Who or what caused the downfall of Macbeth?

    In the end of the scene after Macbeth is told that he is now Thane of Glamis, he decides to let chance take over and not to do anything and see what happens. "Why chance may crown me, without my stir" If he had ignored the Witches prophecies then he

  2. early in the play macbeth caleed lady

    She is not commanding him to do so that may have been intimated to sound as though she is in control. However, this passage is a vital one at this point in the play, which verifies Lady Macbeth is not in complete command but still has a voice in matters.

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