The Warrior Ethic -The Tragedy of Macbeth
William Shakespeare’s famous work, The Tragedy of Macbeth, is a play about a man named Macbeth, who is told his destiny and becomes a tyrannical leader. He then begins to eliminate any threats that he deems necessary to keep absolute control in Scotland. Shakespeare portrays Macbeth as a tyrant to serve as a antagonist to fight against the protagonist, Macduff. In the play, Macduff is considered as the hero who overthrows the tyrant and returns peace to Scotland by letting Malcolm rule. The use of archetypes is very common in Shakespeare’s plays, in this case he uses the role of male archetypes to illustrate the warrior ethic in their society. The antagonist, Macbeth is a very driven man, so driven that he would commit any action to get to his end goal or objective. In The Tragedy of Macbeth, Macbeth would be considered as a mad tyrant, he removes any obstacles in his path of becoming king that he finds necessary. An example of this would be Macbeth killing his best friend, Banquo, just so he does not impede his chances of becoming king. When Macbeth finally does become king, he continues executing anyone that he believes to be necessary to kill so he may keep control over the throne. Macbeth demonstrates all of the characteristics to be labeled as a mad tyrant or a power hungry king. The protagonist, Macduff is a character whose sole purpose is to avenge his fallen friends and family members.
Macduff is considered as the protagonist because he is the character who single-handedly defeats Macbeth in battle and ends his rule over Scotland. An example of MacDuff proving his qualities that define him as a avenging hero is when. But as the story progresses he finds out that while he was gone, Macbeth had his family executed because Macduff left to find Malcolm. The eldest son of king Duncan, Malcolm, is characterized as a strategic, intelligent, and persuasive character. His role in the story is to help build a rebellion against the tyrant Macbeth, persuade England’s king to lend him an army, and strategize and out maneuver Macbeth’s army. An example of this is when Malcolm says “We are coming thither. Gracious England hath lent us good Siward and ten thousand men; An older and a better soldier none. That Christendom gives out.” Malcolm in a sense was like and unlike his father, he ruled and was to be obeyed when he did. But unlike his father he recognized that if he was to defeat Macbeth he needed to be a ruler who “directs a battle rather than leads it.” Banquo is the best friend of Macbeth, in The Tragedy of Macbeth he is considered as a martyr in a sense. The martyr is known for being sacrificed for the good of others or as an example from a evil king. Banquo was executed on the orders of Macbeth, he died so that others could see the tyrant Macbeth had become. This is shown when Macbeth was hosting a banquet. Sweet remembrancer! Now good digestion wait on appetite.And health on both!By Macbeth overreacting in this scene, he unknowingly informed the other banquet guests that he had performed a horrible crime that left him emotionally scarred and unfit to be king. The Porter of Macbeth in the play, does not have a major role in the story, he is mainly more of a minor character. But his part does serve almost as foreshadowing and adds his own bit of wisdom. Here’s a knocking indeed! If a man were porter of hell gate, he should have old turning the key. Knock,knock, knock! Who’s there, i’ the name of Beelzebub? Here’s a farmer, that hanged himself on the expectation of plenty. Come in time; have napkins enow about you; here you’ll sweat for’t.Knock, knock! Who’s there, in the other devil’s name? Faith, here’s an equivocator, that could swear in both the scales against either scale; who committed treason enough for God’s sake, yet could not equivocate to heaven: O, come in, equivocator. Knock, knock, knock! Who’s there? Faith, here’s an English tailor come hither, for stealing out of a French hose: come in, tailor; here you may roast your goose. Knock, knock; never at quiet! What are you? But this place is too cold for hell. I’ll devil-porter it no further: I had thought to have let in some of all professions that go the primrose way to th’ everlasting bonfire. Anon, anon! I pray you, remember the porter.This quote shows the Porter referring to the hellish nature that Macbeth’s castle was beginning to look like and almost foreshadows the soon to be evil nature that Macbeth would begin to express.The men in The Tragedy of Macbeth are displayed through Shakespeare’s use of archetypes and are defined by it. In this case he used male archetypes to help show the “Warrior Ethic” that was in their societies. Unlike the normal warrior ethic in which a leader would have warriors under him and follow his every command, This play shows a form of it in which a warrior killed his leader or “chief” to take over their society.
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