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

Macbeth as a Tragic Hero

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Zack Lindahl Macbeth as a tragic hero Most stories have a protagonist, a central figure that drives the story onwards. In Shakespeare's play Macbeth the protagonist is clearly the Scottish thane Macbeth that is the protagonist. It is another question entirely if he is a hero or a villain in the drama. It can be said that Macbeth is a tragic hero, and not a villain, even though he is the perpetrator of several evil deeds. What then makes a hero tragic, and what elements of the tragic hero can be seen in the work, and in Macbeth? This essay will focus on exploring this throughout the play. There are numerous times where Macbeth's personality is spoken of or apparent throughout the play, which can be used to deduce if he is a tragic hero. The second time where the audience hears of Macbeth in the play is by an unnamed captain who talks of "brave Macbeth - well he deserves that name" (I, II, 16). ...read more.

Middle

During this time he is being taunted by Lady Macbeth, who claims that when "he durst [dared] do it then [he was] a man" (I, VIII, 49) This continues even after the gruesome murder, and he is tormented by his guilt, saying that the blood on his hands will "rather the multitudinous seas incarnadine" (II, II, 64-65) than wash it away. Even though Macbeth murders innocent children, and is indeed a tyrant, we still feel sympathy for him, as he continues down the road to his eventual demise, with a firm albeit delusional belief in the prophecy that "none of woman born shall harm Macbeth" (IV, I, 79-80). The audience's knowledge of that the prophecy is being fulfilled, leaves us with Macbeth as a pitiful figure, as he hurls insults to his servants and curses the names of those who flee the castle Dunsinane. ...read more.

Conclusion

His death is tragic, for it being the direct result for his flaws that are not fully under his control. This does not make him less of an evil man during his reign of terror, but as the spectators are prone to feel sympathy for Macbeth, he is not fully overshadowed by his wickedness. This undeserved sympathy may stem because it is easy to relate to him as a person, as he is noble in nature, but has some dire imperfections that make him more human. In conclusion, Macbeth's innately noble but critically flawed personality and the results of that is what make Macbeth a tragic hero. In another environment, without the original prophecy by the witches, Macbeth could have prospered. Instead, his faults rush him to complete destruction, but still have the effect that it does not feel as if it is Macbeth's own doing. Macbeth does indeed qualify for the title of a tragic hero by having these characteristics. Words: 807 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate Languages 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 International Baccalaureate Languages essays

  1. Antigone is the tragic hero of the play

    Furthermore, in the end, Antigone's downfall, as she is punished by Creon and dies for what she has plotted at the very beginning, the audience is convinced that she is seen to be a true tragic hero in this play.

  2. Gatsby as Tragic Hero

    The last part of this statement definitely holds true and is observed by Nick with the description of Gatsby's mansion on page.9, "It was a factual imitation of some Hotel de Ville in Normandy, with a tower on one side, spanking new under a thin beard of raw ivy and

  1. Is Meursault a Tragic hero or a sociopath?

    On the other hand, this opening could be seen in a way that Meursault is a tragic hero. As the way Meursault reacts to his mother's death, of not crying and of going to the cinema on the day she died could be interpreted as the mistake the tragic hero commits, that opens space for an unstoppable chain of events.

  2. Free essay

    "Claudius is better seen as a flawed hero then as an outright villain"

    Laertes reply with the very words the king sought "to cut his throat i'th' church", this shows the success of the king's manipulative skills; he convinced Laertes to murder and made it seem like it was Laerte's duty to avenge his father death.

  1. Antigone is the true tragic hero of the play

    successfully achieve a self-awareness of their downfalls, which is a key quality in a tragic hero. Although Sophocles effectively brings about peripeteia, he scorns both characters by manifesting a morphed image of anagrorisis - through which he describes them as too imperceptive to realize their mistakes.

  2. Analytical Essay: Lady Macbeth

    Her action of washing her hands of blood that only her eyes could see was highlighted by the witches earlier - when the blind witch was washing the young witch's back. The word "done" re-appears constantly ("What's done is done", "I'll do, I'll do, I'll do), implying that the witches are clairvoyantly anticipating the entire story.

  1. Antigone Tragic Heor

    At the same time, Creon is also portrayed as the tragic hero by Sophocles the moment he "enters the house with Haemon's corpse" in the exodus. The fact that Sophocles has set and placed him in his own home - a place where often a family dwells in, after Haemon's

  2. Blanche's Dubois as a Tragic Character

    It is, then, the act of compelling that leads Blanche to unwillingly give authority to Stanley. A Streetcar named Desire uses foreshadowing to illustrate the metaphorical death of Blanche. Stanley, an animalistic controlling man represents the polar opposite of Blanche's delusional lifestyle.

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