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To what extent does Macbeth fulfill the role of a Shakespearian tragic hero.

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Tom Brennan To what extent does Macbeth fulfill the role of a Shakespearian tragic hero. Macbeth is a Shakespearian play involving an ambitious brave warrior, (Macbeth) who is cousin to the King of Scotland. The play focuses on Macbeths ambitions. Macbeth meets three weird sisters, who predict that one day he would be king. But Macbeth's ambition over took his life as he ended up doing anything to become king, even kill the ones closest to him. There is a great battle at the end of the play in which Macbeth is killed, proving that Macbeth would even be prepared to die to make his ambitions come true. Is Macbeth a Shakespearian tragic hero? To fulfill the role of a tragic hero the character must complete some criteria. The character should be a central character of noble birth and status. The character should build up tragic flaws throughout the play and should have a fall from grace de casibus near the end. The audience must identify the character as not a fully bad person but should have a personality of almost innocent in a chaotic ensuring sense and the character must be aware of their own faults, to make the audience feel a sense of waste and catharsis. To fulfill the role of a Shakespearian tragic hero Macbeth must complete this criterion. ...read more.


The main and most recognized point of fulfilling the role of a tragic hero is their fall from grace. In Macbeth's case he does this in the most extreme way, as his fall is from being King to being killed in battle. In act 5 scene 6 Macbeth says 'I gin to be awary of the sun, and wish th'estate o'th world were now undore,' just after he hears the news of Birnam wood is moving. This is evidence that Macbeth is weary of his responsibilities and wishes it to end. Other evidence of this is when Macbeth says 'at least we'll die with harness or our back,' this suggests that Macbeth expects the end of his reign and his life but also this could be Macbeth realizing his own faults and knowing their is no going back and therefore Macbeth puts his trust with the three weird sisters, as he believes he has a 'charmed life;' for he cannot be killed by anyone born of a woman. He shows this confidence and arrogant attitude in Act 5 scene 8 when he announces it to Macduff. Macduff then tells Macbeth 'despair thy charm' and reveals that he was from his mothers womb 'untimely ripped.' That Macduff was a cesarean birth. At this point just before Macbeths fall from grace, the audience is made to feel sorry for Macbeth and that the blame for his catastrophic reign should be aimed at the three witches, and that Macbeth is innocent. ...read more.


is being forced to do something, in Act 1 scene 7 he says 'False face must hide what the false heart doth know.' I believe this means that Macbeth is comfortable with becoming someone else and so is weak when Lady Macbeth is encouraging him to commit his crimes. Lady Macbeth's persuading words encourage Macbeths ambition to grow out of control and finally over take Macbeth completely, leaving Macbeth with only one dream and a heart full of confidence in the weird sisters prophecies. I believe that Macbeth fulfills the role of a Shakespearian tragic hero to the extent that he is his own self and not the character that is under the influence of Lady Macbeth or the weird sisters. Macbeth is his own self when he is not hiding underneath a mask from the truth, when he is not being bullied by his possessive wife Lady Macbeth or when he has his ambition of becoming king in his mind. Noble Macbeth, Thane of Glaimis, the great warrior Macbeth fulfills the role of a tragic hero because the last piece of criteria for a Shakespearian tragic hero is that the audience must feel a sense of waste and catharsis and losing a great warrior is a waste, while losing an over ambitious, murdering King is not. Macbeth fulfills the role of a Shakespearian tragic hero to the extent where he is his own man, not under the influence of anyone else. ...read more.

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