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To What Extent is Macbeth a Tragic Hero?

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Introduction

James Bugeja L5R To What Extent is Macbeth a Tragic Hero? Macbeth suffered many misfortunes that ultimately led him to become an evil tyrant, which in turn resulted in his death. He didn't, however, start this way and we will see what happened to cause his transformation from hero to his death. There are many parts in the play that led us to believe that Macbeth is actually a warrior and a hero through his battling talents. These parts are mainly in the first act when Macbeth has just fought bravely to kill the leader of a rebellion. Duncan is told in Act one Scene two that Macbeth and Banquo brought the Scottish back from the brink of defeat to gain an excellent victory over the rebels, 'for brave Macbeth - well he deserves that name-' (Act 1 Scene 2 L.16). Macbeth can also be seen as a heroin other ways. Another example of his heroism is seen when he tries to fight the will of his wife to kill Duncan. ...read more.

Middle

Macbeth then writes a letter to Lady Macbeth telling her of everything that had happened. Lady Macbeth loves popularity and wants to be in power desperately so she jumps at the opportunity of being a queen. You can see she really wants to be queen when she casts a spell on herself to make herself manlier and therefore more confident. This spell is on Act 1 Scene 5 Lines 37-52. After she commits the spell she talks with Macbeth about Duncan's impending visit. She knows what she wants to do and what Macbeth is having thoughts about and tells her husband 'Look like th'innocent flower, but be the serpent under't.' This appearance over reality occurs many times during the course of the play. Eventually she takes control over Macbeth and says she will kill Duncan for him. I believe that his puts Macbeth under more pressure, it hurts his manliness because his wife will do something that he is unable to do. All of this ties into making Macbeth a tragic hero because it shows that this once great hero has descended to a lower form, which in my view is very tragic. ...read more.

Conclusion

However we see that Macbeth is changing from his once noble and great character into a king that is mentally ill. Again in my view that is tragic. The mental illness caused Macbet to have Banquo and Fleance (not dead) to be murdered. Banquo's children were going to be king, according to the witches' predictions and Macbeth didn't want this to happen. This shows his ambition to have his blood flowing in royalty always. However, kings are supposed to be the next step down to God and so it would be to go against nature to kill a king. Macbeth did this and so nature was in revolt, with storms occurring, horses eating one another and hawks being killed by their usual preys. Therefore the people become sick of Macbeth and an army marches on him. He believes he is invincible due to the witches' new predictions however he isn't as yet again the witches trick him into a false sense of security. During the play we see that the character of Macbeth changes greatly and that he was a tragic hero. In my view he started as an excellent hero but was changed, by ambition, greed, pride and prominently the influence of others. ...read more.

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