The qualities that Macbeth possesses and the circumstances that he went through
make him a classic tragic hero. Macbeth’s noble birth and good character show him to be
a fine man and well liked. But like all tragic heroes Macbeth’s tragic flaw overtakes him
and he falls into a spiral of self-destruction. As Macbeth comes to terms with his wrong
doings the audience feels pity for Macbeth. These things contributed make Macbeth a
In the play Macbeth by William Shakespeare, the main character Macbeth comes
from a noble line, “Great Glamis!”(I, v, 55), and he is and outstanding citizen whose
honorable qualities make him well liked by all those who know him, “For brave
Macbeth-well he deserves that name”(I, II, 16). The people love and think highly of the
thane. Even the king becomes impressed with the things he has heard about Macbeth’s
courage and bravery. Macbeth holds a great amount of potential to move up even higher
in society if he chooses to use it. However Macbeth encounters the weird sisters who give
him new ideas to think about. The weird sisters meet Macbeth after the great battle,
where they tell Macbeth shocking things about his future, “Hail to thee Thane of
Cawdor! All hail, Macbeth, that shalt be King hereafter!”(I, iii, 49-50). The weird sisters
message about his future get Macbeth thinking of how he will end up becoming king, and
this thinking leads him down a very destructive path.
Like all tragic heroes Macbeth has a tragic flaw that pilots his destruction, and he
suffers from unchecked ambition. One might say that his wife or the witches tricked him
into committing murder, but they only suggested the path of evil, Macbeth chose it for
himself. The witches only had to plant the idea of Macbeth becoming king for him to
start having awful imaginings and horrible thoughts, “If good, why do I yield to that
suggestion whose horrid image doth unfix my hair and make my seated heart knock at
my ribs, against the use of nature? Present fears are less than horrible imaginings,”(I, iii.
134-139). Macbeth even knows what he is thinking is wrong and wants to hide his
desires, “For in my way it lies. Stars hide you fires; let not light see my black and deep
desires,”(I, v. 50-51). Even the witches had not planned for Macbeth to go on a killing
spree, Macbeth now has his own ends in mind, “He shall spurn fate, scorn death, and bear
his hopes ‘bove wisdom, grace, and fear: Is mortals’ chiefest enemy.”(III, v. 30-31).
Macbeth’s over leaping ambition is his downfall, not his wife’s urges or the witches
visions but his own flaw.
By the turning point in the play Macbeth and lady Macbeth have switched roles,
Macbeth becomes cruel and over ambitious, he uses manipulative tactics to get his way,
and no longer consults his wife about his schemes. Lady Macbeth on the other hand has
become fearful and unhappy about what they have done. Once Macbeth decides on his
own to kill his friend Banquo, he falls into a pit of despair, he has reached the height of
his paranoia and his situation only becomes worse from there. Macbeth then become
completely insane and begins to kill or try to kill anyone person that seems to threaten his
position. Macbeth especially wants Macduff dead, but when he cannot be found
Macbeth kills Macduff’s entire family, “The castle of Macduff I will surprise; seize upon
Fife; give to th’ edge o’ th’ sword his wife, his babes, and all unfortunate souls that trace
his line.”(IV, ii. 150-153). Macbeth does not have any rational reasons for committing
this murder just pure paranoia and tyranny. Macbeth has reached rock bottom.
Macbeth’s flaw has caused him to push everyone who cares for him away or
murder them. Macbeth’s crimes have disillusioned him and caused him to think he is
invincible, but he believes falsely. Macbeth thinks his fortress...
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