MACBETH: THE TRAGIC HERO
At the top of the play, The Tragedy of Macbeth, Macbeth is simply a nobleman and a Scottish general in King Duncan's army. Macbeth later becomes the deserving Thane of Glamis and Cawdor and the undeserving King of Scotland. In the beginning Macbeth is a man with good intentions clouded by bad judgment and a good heart distracted by pride and too much ambition. Macbeth's ambition and the persuasion of his wife lead him to commit several horrible deeds. Macbeth is brave, good-hearted, disobeying, easily persuaded, overly-ambitious, and literal-minded and unimaginative. All these traits characterize a very heroic but troubled man.
Throughout the play, Macbeth is a character who shows extreme bravery. The reader can see his bravery through his efforts and victories on the battle field. The Captain speaks of Macbeth's bravery when he is describing Macbeth's triumph over Macdonald and his strong forces, "But all's too weak,/for brave Macbeth - well he deserves that name-/Disdaining Fortune, with his brandished steel/which smoked with bloody execution, /Like Valour's minion carved out his passage" . The captain then goes on to tell how Macbeth and Banquo fought successfully through an assault of fresh Norwegian troops. Macbeth is obviously a loyal general who fights hard and with courage for his country. Macbeth displays his bravery when he kills Duncan and Duncan's two guards. Killing someone is in itself a brave act. In order to actually go through with the act of murdering somebody takes much courage. Murdering a person is an act which requires bravery to commit, but it also requires bravery to face the consequences if one is caught. Another instance of Macbeth's bravery is when Macbeth fights Macduff at the end of the play. All of Macbeth's soldiers and friends flee in terror of the approaching army. Macbeth is the only one to stand his ground and fight to the death.
Macbeth shows a sign of having a good heart and good intentions, but he also shows that he has a weak mind that ignores and disobeys what his good heart tells him is right. The reader can see Macbeth's good heart when Lady Macbeth tries to persuade him to kill Duncan. At first Macbeth refuses to do such a horrible deed. He knows in his heart that killing Duncan is wrong and deceitful. Just after Macbeth has received the news from the witches that he will be King, he thinks to himself," This supernatural soliciting/Cannot be ill, cannot be good. . . . If good, why do I yield to that suggestion,/Whose horrid image doth unfix my hair/And make me seated heart knock at my ribs/Against the use of nature?". Macbeth's heart is telling him that this suggestion of killing Duncan cannot be good. The reader can see that Macbeth tries to listen to his good heart when he tells Lady Macbeth that he will not kill Duncan, "We will proceed no further in this business./He hath honored me of late, and I have bought/Golden Opinions from all sorts of people,/Which would be worn now in their newest gloss,/Not cast aside so soon". Although Macbeth has a good heart with good intentions, he does not obey and listen to his heart. He allows Lady Macbeth to persuade him into doing what he knows is wrong. Macbeth knows he has chosen the wrong path when he says," I'll go no more./I am afraid to think what I have done;/Look on't again, I dare not. Therefore Macbeth is disobeying of what he knows is right. In fact, Macbeth speaks of the distrust he has for his heart when he says," False face must hide what the false heart doth know. All Lady Macbeth has to do to convince Macbeth to kill Duncan is call him a coward and unmanly a few times. The fact that Macbeth is so easily persuaded to kill a man, just from being called a coward and unmanly, is certainly a sign of a weak mind that does not trust the heart. In the end Macbeth's excessive