Is Macbeth a Tyrant or a Tragic Hero?
A tragic hero is someone whos fatal flaw, combined with other external factors, bring about ones demise, which is demonstrated by Macbeth in Shakespeares play Macbeth. Macbeth is portrayed as a courageous, brave and noble man who was haunted by superstition and an overpowering ambition. Factors that contributed to the degeneration of Macbeth include the prophecies told to him by the witches, the influence and manipulation of his wife, Lady Macbeth, and finally, Macbeths deep driven intent to become king. Although seen as a daring and valiant hero at the beginning of the play, Macbeths evil desires and long time ambition causes his downfall.
Even though Macbeth seems like a malevolent and murderous tyrant towards the end of the play, he is ultimately a tragic hero. The prophecies given by the witches contributed to the degeneration of Macbeths character. The witches foretold that Macbeth would become Thane of Glamis, Thane of Cawdor and the King of Scotland. If not for the prophecies, Macbeths curiosity and ambition to become King might never have aroused.
To be king stood not within the prospect of belief to him before he had heard the prophecies, however, when hearing the prophecies of becoming king, horrible imaginings of murder, though fantastical, had come across his mind. As the play progresses, Macbeth increasingly relies on the prophecies given by the witches stirring up Macbeths curiosity and ambition which factor in corrupting his character and sending him to his dusty death. The manipulation and influence of Lady Macbeth was also a factor of Macbeths downfall. When Lady Macbeth reads her husbands letter, she is afraid that Macbeth is not evil enough to do what he must to seize the crown. She wishes her husband a quick return so that she can pour her spirits in his ear and chastise with the valour of her tongue. Although Lady Macbeth seems like a lovely and polite lady, she is in fact a vicious and manipulative woman full of malice.
She is also a horrible influence on Macbeth telling him to look like the innocent flower, but to be the serpent undert as well as telling him he was a coward when he was afraid to murder King Duncan. After Macbeth had slaughtered King Duncan, he was filled with a guilty conscience, regretting his wrong. His wife however, thought he was infirm of purpose. This was the first murder that Macbeth had experienced, however after the first murder, killing seemed to be the only solution to maintain his reign as king.
Introduction Not only is Macbeth by far the shortest of William Shakespeare’s great tragedies, but it is also anomalous in some structural respects. Like Othello (1604) and only a very […]
Today, I stand before a nation in mourning, grieving the passing of its King, Macbeth. He shall surely be remembered in history as a noble and courageous soldier and leader […]
Macbeth, Banquo, and Macduff are three characters in Shakespears tragedy, Macbeth. These three characters have some similarities, but ultimately are very different in the choices and decisions they make, and […]
The theme of kingship is one which can be see constantly throughout the play. This makes sense as the play is ultimately a tribute to King James I, who was […]
Shakespeare’s bloody and tragic play Macbeth, written in the seventeenth century, portrays blind ambition, appearances can be deceiving and corruption of power. It follows the reasons behind Macbeth’s downfall. The […]
William Shakespeare’s Macbeth is among the few of Shakespeare’s plays where a female character plays a catalytic role. The female characters in this play are Lady Macbeth, Lady Macduff, the […]
Use this graphic organizer to collect your thoughts about characterization in Macbeth. As you read each scene, record what you learn about the character. Add the line from the play […]
Human nature has sparked much debate throughout history. Some people think that human nature at birth is absolutely good and that all evil comes from postnatal education or the negative […]
Macbeth is among Shakespeare’s a lot of extreme plays and one his most complicated psychological studies. It is also a play about which there is a lot of historic background, […]
A tragic hero is someone whos fatal flaw, combined with other external factors, bring about ones demise, which is demonstrated by Macbeth in Shakespeares play Macbeth. Macbeth is portrayed as […]