Macbeth in Relation to Greek Tragedy

Topics: Macbeth, Three Witches, Duncan I of Scotland Pages: 2 (638 words) Published: June 9, 2006

Macbeth by William Shakespeare is a tragedy, and the character of Macbeth is its tragic hero. Like every tragic hero, Macbeth has a tragic flaw. His flaw that leads to his downfall is hubris, or pride. His pride causes him to think himself in control of prophecies concerning Banquo, those told by the three apparitions, and he also loses his relationship with his wife.

The Weird Sisters prophecy that Macbeth will become Thane of Glamis (his current title), Thane of Cawdor, and King of Scotland, while Banquo's children will be a line of kings. Once Macbeth kills Duncan and fulfills the prophecy, he is not content. His glory will only last his lifetime, while Banquo will be the progenitor of generations of kings and future Scotland will know Banquo's name and not Macbeth's. Macbeth arranges for Banquo and his son, Fleance, to be killed, thinking that if he can kill them the prophecy will be null. His pride makes him want to be in the limelight forever, and have all the glory be his. This helps him think that because he helped the his prophecy come true by killing King Duncan he can control not only his own fate, but the fate of others.

After Macbeth is visited by Banquo's bloody ghost he calls upon the Weird Sisters again and demands, not asks politely, them to tell him the future. By commanding them to do what he wants, he is literally controlling the fates. They brew a potion anad out comes three apparitions. Tey tell him to beware Macduff, that no man born of a woman can harm him, and he will not be defeated until Birnham Woods comes to Dunsinane, his castle. Macbeth's hubris makes the same mistake he made with Banquo's prophecy, and he hires more assassins to kill Macduff. However, fate had it that Macduff was in England and Macbeth's assassins killed Macduff's wife and children instead. Again, he thinks he can control what fate has in store for him. As for not being harmed by anyone born of a woman and not being defeated until...
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