A tragic hero is someone of high birth, yet possesses a flaw, and with this flaw it will eventually lead to their downfall. Shakespeare has created Macbeth as a tragic hero. Macbeth's movement from a hero to a villain is achieved through various language and dramatic techniques which through acts 1, 2 and 3 leads to his eventual downfall.
Within Act 1 Macbeth was was acknowledged for fighting to King Duncan, and even praised as an honourable man. Banquo says in Act 1 scene 3 “Worthy Macbeth, we stay upon your leisure". The irony of this quote as Macbeth at the time was thinking of murder and not the fact that he is Thane of Cawdor. Banquo is telling Macbeth that he will wait until Macbeth and only Macbeth is ready to leave, he is loyal to Macbeth and uses the word ‘worthy Macbeth’ to portray Macbeth’s new position, leading us to believe Macbeth is a noble man. He is portrayed as a hero, everyone saying Macbeth was heroic and loyal.
By the end of Act 1, we see Macbeth struggle with his own conscience as well as Lady Macbeth's constant reasons for him to kill King Duncan. Macbeth allows Lady Macbeth to manipulate his ambitious ways, yet we see Macbeth come to the decision of not to kill King Duncan. Macbeth says in Act 1, scene 7 "I have no spur to prick the sides of my intent but only vaulting ambition which o'erleaps itself". This uses the technique of dramatic irony to lead us to believe he understands his character flaw.
Though if Macbeth was truly who he says he is in Act 1, the play would have ended.
We would have no tragic figure, just a man who knows right from wrong, who knows how to weigh the consequences of life's choices, and who has the wisdom and restraint to reel in his ambitious drives. But no, Evil waits patiently in the wings as Good takes her bow. Perhaps Shakespeare wanted to show that man is in conflict with himself against the force of evil in his own soul and that Evil has many faces.
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