Macbeth's Tragic Flaws

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  • Topic: Macbeth, William Shakespeare, Tragic hero
  • Pages : 3 (1035 words )
  • Download(s) : 391
  • Published : February 21, 2011
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Tragedy always involves human suffering, but not everyone who suffers is a Tragic Hero. In many of Shakespeare’s plays, the protagonist’s character embodies those characteristics of a Tragic Hero. Due to their flaws, a Tragic Hero’s actions are often heinous and cause great internal conflict. In William Shakespeare’s Mactbeth, there are many factors that contribute to the decline of Macbeth, such as the witches’ prophecies and Lady Macbeth, turning him from a noble man to a self conceited and violent individual. Because of Macbeth’s tragic flaws, he falls from prominence, eventually leading to self ruin. Macbeth is a tragic hero because of his beginnings as a nobleman and gradually being ruined by his own superstition, pride, and ambition, developing the play Macbeth into a tragedy. Macbeth’s ambitious desires for royalty, fame, and greatness play a key role in the development of his character. Ambition can be defined as the desire and willingness to strive towards achievement or distinction. On the contrary, driving ambition is the outright desire to achieve a certain goal, regardless of any possible consequences. Ambition has an immediate effect on Macbeth right from the start of the play. The captain tells the king that Macbeth “with his brandished steel,/ Which smoked with bloody execution,/ Like valor's minion carved out his passage/ Till he faced the slave” (Shakespeare 1.2.17-20). Macbeth’s valor and courage as a nobleman on the battlefield is marked by a consuming ambition to achieve greatness. At the beginning of Act one, Macbeth has no incentive or expectation to be promoted to Thane or receive any type of reward. However, after interacting with the three witches, he is shocked about their prophecies, especially when the third witch says “All hail, Macbeth, that shalt be king hereafter!” (1.2.51). After he is informed of being promoted to Thane of Cawdor, Macbeth is driven by ambition to fulfill the supernatural prophecy of the witches because of his...
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