Macbeth Tragic Hero

Words: 1501
Pages: 7

Macbeth is a tragedy about a man's descent into madness and murder. Written by William Shakespeare, it perfectly combines a tale of a hero’s fall into darkness and regicide with somewhat questionable sympathy for said “hero”. The book starts with three witches talking of their plot to meet with noble Macbeth to push him towards the path of evil by telling him his “fate”. He is said to be king hereafter by the prophets and believes it, and decides that he must kill the now-King, Duncan. He kills Duncan and takes the throne which leaves him with quite a few loose ends such as his best friend Banquo, who was destined to have his decendants beccome kings, but not himself, which led Macbeth to believe Banquo was going to kill him so he had him …show more content…
This is the second and crucial point where Macbeth sees the wrong he has done and plunges into an existential crisis, questioning the point of existence and life itself. All of his senses and emotions are dulled and numbed and he no longer feels fear itself. After his crisis it becomes very clear that the double edged prophecies are coming true and Macbeth’s life is ended, setting in stone his tragedy.

Macbeth is a heroic tragedy because he fits the entire model of being a tragic hero. Aristotle defines being a tragic hero as “A tragic hero is a literary character who makes a judgment error that inevitably leads to his/her own destruction… look at the role of justice and/or revenge and its influence on each character’s choices when analyzing any “judgment error.” Other definitions describe a tragic hero as having a critical flaw, or a Hamartia, that leads them to their own destruction but either way, Macbeth's
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Macbeth’s tragic flaws are that he has a lack of trust and too much ambition. Ambition and mistrust go hand in hand with Macbeth because his painstakingly high ambition leads him to mistrust people and feel as though everyone is out to get him or “ruin his destiny”. We see in act three that Macbeth points out that his old friend, Banquo, is the only man in Scotland whom he fears. On act 3, scene one, on lines 63-65 Macbeth talks about why he fears Banquo, stating “Then, prophetlike, they hailed him father to a line of kings. Upon my head they placed a fruitless crown and put a barren scepter in my grip” These lines are him recalling that the Wyrd sisters told him that he would have no heirs, but Banquo will have heirs. This makes Macbeth start to think that Banquo is going to attempt to murder him out of ambition. This lack of trust frightens him greatly so he attempts to have Banquo and his son murdered, but his son escapes, thus ensuring the prophecy that Banquo will not be a king but he will have heirs as kings. This entire section is a mashup of Macbeth’s ambition leading to distrust, doubting his closest allies, and questioning himself. The prophecy the witches gave about Banquo also reinforces Macbeth’s