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

Why is Macbeth thought to be a tragic hero?

Extracts from this document...


Course Work Simon Deards 11 Matisse MACBETH Why is Macbeth thought to be a tragic hero? A tragedy in the art of drama is a play in which there is a central character, usually a hero or someone greatly respected, a great amount of fighting, murder, and finally defeat. Shakespeare's play 'Macbeth' falls into the genre 'tragedy' as in this play there are a lots of murders, mostly innocent people and the defeat and death of the main character.. Shakespeare's conventions for the guidelines of a tragic play are: A tragic hero. High birth and position. The audience is moved to feel pity. Many good qualities. One flaw in his character which is played upon by circumstances. This brings about downfall and death. Innocent people suffer in the process. At the beginning of the play is where Macbeth is shown to be a hero though not yet tragic. The Captain says 'For brave Macbeth - well he deserves that name -' (act 1 scene 2). Macbeth is of high birth and position. Shakespeare often used history to add to the content of his plays. He found Macbeth in 'The Chronicles of Scotland' .He was the son of a great family that ruled Moray and Ross and he was married to the granddaughter of a king. ...read more.


His quality, loyalty to his country is most obvious. He is greatly upset at the thought of Macduff going to the England who at the time were wanting to rule Scotland. His quality, bravery, is seen at the onset of the play where he is praised for his valient efforts in fighting and killing the rebel Macdonald who was aided by Norwegian troops and at the end of the play when the tragic hero's speech is proud and defiant, 'I will yield to kiss the ground before young Malcolm's feet ', ' Yet I try the last,' (act 5 scene 9). Duncan also calls Macbeth a, 'Valient cousin, worthy gentleman.' (act 1 scene 2). One other quality which he has is the great love for his wife, Lady Macbeth. The tragedy of this situation is that Lady Macbeth is just as ambitious, or even more so, for Macbeth to rule Scotland. Because of this she suggests many of the amoral deeds, and also helps occasionally to carry them out. Macbeth is more receptive and in agreement to the suggestions made by someone that he loves. Macbeth's concience pricks him at time when he is planning to murder Duncan. ...read more.


(act 3 scene 4) and Lady Macbeth, 'Out damned spot! Out I say!, (act 5 scene 1) as possession of demons. Macbeth shows how a strong supporter of the church can be so easily involved in evil as a result of allowing witchcraft to aid his ambitions. Shakespeare was a supporter of James I and probably wrote the play with him in mind. In history Banquo was actually responsible for the death of the Scottish king and was a descendant of James I so in writing this play he made sure that no rightful royal character was responsible for the murder of Duncan. James I hated anyone that was responsible for the death of a king. Edward the Confessor, who was thought to have healing powers, is also mentioned by an unnamed Lord,'Of the most pious Edward with such grace,' (act 3 scene 6).James I believed in the Devine right of kings, that kings were appointed by God and that God had let him inherit the healing powers of Edward. This all went towards gaining the approval of his plays by the king and making sure that he was in his favour. Macbeth has all the ingredients required for story of a 'tragic hero'. He leads himself to downfall and death due to his one foremost flaw. It is a thought provoking, deep and frightening study of ambition. ...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 Macbeth 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 Macbeth essays

  1. Do you consider Macbeth a tragic hero?

    These first few scenes of the play show how people act on their decisions determines their future. The soliloquies in acts 1 Scene 7 and Act 2 scene 1 reveal Macbeth's mixed feelings about murdering. He wants to gain power, but is scared of the processes he has to go through to get the power.

  2. Macbeth- tragic hero or bloody tyrant?

    say how it would "jump the life to come" line 7 which means he would forget about going to heaven and that his path to come was going to change. Macbeth was also a true believe in what goes around comes around and he believes that if he kills Duncan someone may also kill him.

  1. 'Macbeth' gives us a classic example of the literary definition of a 'tragic hero'. ...

    Macbeth has undergone a horrifying, haunting and harrowing experience that will leave him emotionally scarred for life. Macbeth says of himself: 'I had most need of blessing, and 'Amen'/Stuck in my throat.' He is beyond forgiveness and redemption. Glamis hath murder'd sleep, and therefore Cawdor Shall sleep no more, Macbeth shall sleep no more!

  2. Macbeth is more a victim than a villain. He is a tragic hero. Show ...

    This shows us the villain in Macbeth's character. Macbeth fells he must go on killing in order to fell secure. In scene 3 Macbeth murders Banquo, which is reflected in the putting out of the light, `who did strike out the light?' The addition of the third murder adds nothing to the progress of the plot, but exposes

  1. Macbeth : a tragic hero or bloody tyrant?

    Macbeth, therefore, was entitled to be king and accessed to the throne. Once Macbeth realised the suspiction BanQuo had on him, including his fear for the witches' prophecy, that Banquo would be father of a king, would become true, he decided to get rid of Banquo and his son, Fleance.

  2. Is Macbeth A Traditional Tragic Hero?

    One can see that from this trust in the witches and of his wife. From Act 1 Scene 2, in the sergeant's speech, one has already got an image of a man who is extremely violent. Macbeth continues his violence and in turn causes a lot of suffering to a lot of people.

  1. Examine/Analyse the character of Macbeth. Is he a tyrant or a tragic hero?

    foul, and foul is fair" - Witches This talking in paradox, shows a sinister connection between the two parties, and undermines and contradicts all the positive aspects previously mentioned. It also gives us an insight into the play, suggesting that Macbeth will become as both abhorred and terrorising as the witches are.

  2. Macbeth – Hero or “Hellhound”

    If 'Macbeth' is in fact under the witches' spell then his actions throughout the rest of the play can't really be seen as his fault. Banquo seems to be aware that the witches are evil although 'Macbeth' isn't. "Cannot be ill.

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