Macbeth: The Tragic Hero In Shakespeare's Macbeth

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Shakespeare’s play Macbeth is about a man who rises to power as a king and is eventually killed. The main character, Macbeth, is a tragic hero. There are several characteristics that define a tragic hero. He is someone of high standing who brings about his own downfall through a tragic flaw. Additionally, he undergoes meaningful suffering, learns from his mistakes, and arouses pity through his demise. At the start of the play, Macbeth meets three witches and they say, “all hail… thane of Glamis/… thane of Cawdor/… thou shalt be king” (1:3:51-53). They call Macbeth by three titles, Thane of Glamis, Thane of Cawdor, and king. They prophesize and tell him that he will have those three titles. This becomes the basis of Macbeth’s rise to power.
In the beginning, Macbeth has a royal title, Thane of Glamis. After the Thane of Cawdor betrays the king, Duncan, in war, he is sentenced to execution. Duncan says, “No more that than of Cawdor shall deceive/… pronounce his present death/ death” (1:2:73-75). After sentencing the Thane to death, Duncan continues, “With his former title greet Macbeth” (1:2:76). He orders that Macbeth be told that he is to receive the title of Thane of Cawdor. When the
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After the witches’ apparitions tell Macbeth, “Beware Macduff” (4:1:81), he immediately reacts. Macbeth, internalizing the warning against Macduff, says, “What need I fear of thee? / but yet I’ll make assurance double sure/… thou shalt not live” (4:1:93-95). Though Macbeth feels that he has no reason to fear Macduff, wanting to be completely secure, he decides to kill him anyway. His ambition however, does not stop there. After his decision to kill Macduff, he continues, “Give to th’ edge o’ th’ sword/… all unfortunate souls/ that trace him in his line” (4:1:172-174). He then decides to kill Macduff’s entire family also; through this he feels he will be able to satisfy his ambition and become

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