Essay on Tragic Hero and Brave Macbeth

Submitted By Papa9800u
Words: 297
Pages: 2

Macbeth, a tragedy written by William Shakespeare in the 17th century, expresses clearly the strong pull that desire for power can have over a man. Macbeth, the title character of the play, is often expressed as being the villain of the tragedy. However, through studying the play closely it is clear to see that, rather than being an innately evil character, Macbeth is in fact a tragic hero, doomed by fate from the start to descend into the madness which he did. Had it not been for his hamartia and his interaction with the witches and his wife then the play would have had a very different ending.

Like every tragic hero in literature Macbeth suffered from a tragic flaw, or a hamartia. In his case, his flaw was his vaulting ambition, combined with a lust for power. Macbeth himself recognises this ambition in act I, scene 7 where he states in a soliloquy “I have no spur to prick the sides of my intent but only vaulting ambition”. This comment suggests that he knows that the only thing that prompts his actions is his ambition. While ambition alone is not in fact a bad trait, when added with a lust for power, this ambition can become dangerous. Did having these qualities mean that Macbeth was indisputably corrupt? No, they simply meant that he, like all human beings, had a flaw and a weakness. Indeed, at the start of the play, Macbeth was seen as the hero, being described as “brave Macbeth” in act I, scene II, and shown as a loyal and brave solider on the battle field. He is