September 26, 2015
Macbeth as the Tragic Hero
By definition a tragic hero is a person of noble birth with heroic qualities. This person is often fated by other forces to great destruction. In the Shakespearean play Macbeth, the leading character, Macbeth is the tragic hero. Throughout the play he goes through many changes and events that cause him to be a completely different character at the end. A man, once noble and honorable, who is praised by a king, but influenced by others, suddenly sells his life to ambition. Early on in the play, Macbeth is depicted as honorable and worthy. In the play, he already has the title of Thane of Glamis and, as told by three witches, will take the throne in Cawdor. This specifies that Macbeth has great political power and importance. The title of Thane of Glamis is given to Macbeth by his cousin, King Duncan, due to the fact that he fought with great courage and the previous Thane of Cawdor was defeated. Duncan describes Macbeth as a “…valiant cousin! Worthy gentleman!” (I.ii.24.) Here, the reader can see the way in which Duncan speaks of Macbeth. It shows his respectable and honorable character.
When the witches tell Macbeth that he must kill King Duncan to gain the throne in Cawdor he struggles. These prophecies told by the witches bring out his determined nature. Once Macbeth tells his wife, Lady Macbeth, about the witches’ prophecies, there is no going back. My attacking his manhood, his wife convinces him that he must commit the murder. She strongly believes that if he wants the throne he must go out and get it. At first Macbeth does not want to kill Duncan. The way he sees it is that he already got a promotion form the king for his service in the war so why would he want more. The problem is the witches planted this idea in his head and he has a dream that convinces him to go through with it. When the time comes he feels doubtful and explains that Duncan is “…his kinsman and...
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