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Discuss Macbeth as a tragic hero - his strengths, his weaknesses,...

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Discuss Macbeth as a tragic hero - his strengths, his weaknesses, his tragic flaw and the effect of outside influences on his nature.

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  • Jan. 1, 1996
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Discuss Macbeth as a tragic hero - his strengths, his weaknesses, his tragic flaw and the effect of outside influences on his nature.

The contributions of Macbeth towards his fate in becoming the 'tragic hero' is evident from the first act. Like other of Shakespearean plays, the tragic hero, Macbeth, is noble, honourable and highly respected by the general public at the start of the play. Unfortunately Macbeth contributes to his own fate more than what is implied. What seems to be his strengths, backfires and these become his weaknesses.

During the play, Macbeth's strengths were ambition, courage, and honour. Prior to the murders Macbeth utilised his strengths well and this earned him a new title: 'Thane of Cawdor'. 'For brave Macbeth-well he deserves that name. Disdaining fortune, with his brandish'd steel, Which smoked with bloody execution, Like valour's minion carv'd out his passage, Till he fac'd the slave.' (Act 1, Scene 2, Lines 16-20). However, after the murder of Banquo, his ambition and superstitious nature clouded his morals and common sense. Pride and ambition were a main contributor to his faltering public image of a brave hero.

Macbeth's own nature and 'metaphysical' influences is a lethal cocktail which propels him to his fate. The witches' ambiguous prophesies affected Macbeth by making him curious to why they greated him as Thane of Cawdor and why he would soon become king. Ambition seemed to be Macbeth's forte but after the murder of King Duncan, which led to the murder of others, including Macduff's family, it became his frailty.

In general, the witches and Lady Macbeth were responsible for causing Macbeth ambition to become tragic flaw. Lady Macbeth, although not having any direct influences on Macbeth's fate, affected his character deterioration by testing his courage and manhood by suggesting that he is a coward for not taking 'the shortest way'. When Macbeth starts to come to his senses and tells his wife that they won't murder...