The Shakespearean Tragedy of Macbeth the Powerful Leader

June 7, 2022 by Essay Writer

“Macbeth can be considered a powerful leader, a tragic hero and a man who is easily led.” This statement is true to a certain extent. There is little doubt that he is any of the traits portrayed in the above statement but how far does each characteristic really extend? There are other characteristics not stated which the readers feel describe him more fully: arrogant, tyrant and power hungry to name a few.

There is no doubt that Macbeth was a powerful leader, Hitler was one of the greatest and most powerful leaders in the world, it does not mean they are “good”. We could rather describe them as tyrants, however their ability to lead is there.

We first encounter Macbeth at a battle where he lead a victory against there enemies, that was when he was still a pure man. It was after the prophecy that he turned into a power-hungry megalomaniac. When Macbeth is crowned King he is insecure about his position, “To be thus is nothing. but to be safely thus.” H starts to make sure that nothing or no one can impact his power by killing those who are a threat to him not making him loved but rather feared and hated.

Macbeth starts out as someone we like and respect, he is bravely fighting for his country and is then recognised by Duncan, who could ask for a more noble being? It all starts to go downhill for our hero, the prophecy is revealed to him by the three witches and that starts the beginning of the end for Macbeth. The point that we recognise as the turning point in Macbeths journey of being the tragic hero is killing Duncan. “that but this blow might be the be all and end all—here, but hereupon this bank and shoal of time we’ld jump the life to come.” Macbeth hesitates before killing Duncan giving us a glimmer of hope. He does however go through with the murder and his whole nature transforms into the cruel and cold murder he is.

He was easily lead astray by the witches, without them it is doubtful he would have killed Duncan. He also shows that Lady Macbeth has a strong hold over him, if she hadn’t goaded him into murdering Duncan he would not have. He is very susceptible to pressure from others, very conscious of his image. “Stars hold your fires: let not lights see my black and deep desires.” He knows he is not pure.

The statement that was introduced at the beginning is accurate, Macbeth was a powerful leader before and after he killed Duncan and he is easily misguided. He is no doubt Shakespeare’s tragic hero.


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