Macbeth As A Tragic Hero Essay

Words: 616
Pages: 3

Macbeth as a Tragic Hero
A tragic hero is a character that is very noble and honorable that will eventually make a choice that leads to their fall from grace. By all means, Macbeth’s character is an example of a Shakespearean representation of the ultimate classic (anti)hero or tragic hero. Indeed, numerous factors work in concert to ensure Macbeth’s degeneration of character, three of which will be discussed in the body of this paper. These three principal events encompass the prophesies the witches tell him, his wife’s (Lady Macbeth) influence and manipulation of him, as well as Macbeth’s long-held ambition to be crowned king. Through the combination of these factors, Macbeth’s prolific character degenerates from that of a noble to that of a violent criminal (Toshack 117-19).
Of the three circumstances, The Prophesies Macbeth obtains from the witches – of whom Shakespeare reiterates "Fair is foul and foul is fair" (Heilman 3-4) – are perhaps the most significant in Macbeth’s fall from glory. Had it not been for the witches convincing Macbeth that he was in fact supposed to be the “Thane of Cawdor”, the “Thane of Glamis”, and “The King of Scotland” (Heilman, 4-7), without doubt, Macbeth would still have remained his typical self.
…show more content…
Admittedly, Macbeth’s ambition was nowhere near the resolve to kill the King. However, his wife’s influence plays a central role in ensuring that Macbeth’s ambition is amplified well enough to motivate him to acquire and sustain his position as the King of Scotland, regardless of the cost, even if it means committing murder (Gale 68-9). Macbeth’s ambition influences the path of his newfound villainous character, comprising of such vices as violence, greed, and hunger for power, effectively cementing his reputation as a tragic hero (Sheinberg