English 6th period
The role of a tragic hero is often portrayed in Shakespeare’s plays, Macbeth is a perfect example of Shakespeare’s tragic hero. There are multiple factors that support Macbeth being labelled as a tragic hero. Usually a tragic hero is a great or virtuous character who is destined for a downfall, suffering, or defeat. But a Shakespearean tragic hero will lose their life in the end of the play so the message of what is good in the play can reestablished.
In William Shakespeare’s play Macbeth, Macbeth changes from a loyal heroic warrior, to “hell hound”. Before he dies he regains some of his earlier stature. Macbeth is therefor a masterfully crafted tragic hero, far more than a tyrant. At the very beginning in Act I, we hear from other characters how heroically Macbeth performed in battle in defense of his king's land “For brave Macbeth-well he deserves that name—Disdaining Fortune, with his brandished steel, which smoked with bloody execution, Like valor’s minion carved out his passage Till he faced the slave; Which ne’er shook hands, nor bade farewell to him, Till he unseamed him from the nave to th’chops, And fixed his head upon our battlements” (Act I). Against seemingly hopeless odds, Macbeth fights valiantly and defeats the enemy. Macbeth is praised for his courage in battle, which sets him up in hope of having the crown. We hear again in Act I from the king how much he appreciates Macbeth “No more that Thane of Cawdor shall deceive Our bosom interest. Go pronounce his present death, And with his former title greet Macbeth” (Act I).
Macbeth’s Blind ambition, along with the provoking of his wife, leads him to take a violent and bloody path to the throne. Following the path of a tragic hero. Macbeth suffers from a tragic flaw. Macbeth has multiple flaws but his major flaws are his ambition and ability to be influenced quickly. After the three witches told Macbeth about his most fortunate future of ruling Scotland, Macbeth’s honorable nature seems to fade away and replaced by a “by all means necessary” nature/attitude. Macbeth’s lust power, along with Lady Macbeth’s persuasive words led to Macbeth killing King Duncan in his sleep. After King Duncan’s Murder Macbeth was crowned King of Scotland, which lead to Macbeth fearing that everyone with noble blood was after his crown. By the end of the play, Macbeth would have killed four people, which he murdered for the reason of protecting his kingship. Macbeth’s ambition blinds to see all the destruction he has created, causing him to end up ruling as a tyrant rather than a noble well respected King. Macbeth is easily influenced nature cause him the inability to form his own thought and think for himself, but rather listen to his wife’s words and the three witches. These Tragic flaws create a major role in Macbeth’s downfall.
Macbeth’s flaws lead him to become a tyrant, who is unloved by his people. With the bloody path macbeth has created for himself, his fall from power was unavoidable. Macbeth’s actions lead him to feel as if his life was always in danger. Macbeth was aware that his evil deeds people wanting revenge one of these