Macbeth Tragic Hero Characteristics

Good Essays
A Shakespearean tragic hero is defined as a person of noble birth heroic qualities who possesses a tragic flaw in character that brings about his downfall. The character of Macbeth is one of a classic example of Shakespearean tragic hero. There are three main characteristics that titled Macbeth as a “Tragic Hero”. Firstly, Macbeth is a figure of high stature in form of nobility and wisdom. Secondly, Macbeth is essentially a good-hearted and noble man, but suffers in tremendous downfall due to his personal flaws. Finally, Macbeth’s growing character degenerates to a violent individual that leads to his tragic death in the end of the play. The character of Macbeth by William Shakespeare demonstrates many qualities that believed a tragic …show more content…
He has multiple flaws in character, the most prominent being his ambition. Macbeth’s murderous ambition, along with the prophecies told by the witches, and Lady’s influences leads Macbeth to his degeneration. The witches prophecies are the driving force of Macbeth’s desire for power and prestige. In Act 1 scene 3, the three witches hail Macbeth: “All hail, Macbeth, hail to thee, Thane of Glamis!/ All hail, Macbeth, hail to thee, Thane of Cawdor!/ All hail, Macbeth, that shalt be King hereafter!” (1.2.49-53) These predictions arouses Macbeth’s curiosity and ambition. As the play goes, Macbeth gradually relies on the witches’ prophecies completely. Lady Macbeth also take a huge part in driving Macbeth’s desire to be king. When Macbeth hesitates to murder King Duncan, Lady Macbeth spurs Macbeth: “And wakes it now, to look so green and pale/ At what it did so freely? From this time/ Such I account thy love. Art thou afeard/ To be the same in thine own act and valor/ As thou art in desire?” (1.7.40-44). Lady Macbeth has bloodthirsty lust for power and her ambition is strong enough to drive her husband on committing crimes. She questions Macbeth’s manhood as he struggles against ambition. Macbeth then replies: “I am settled, and bend up/ Each corporal agent to this terrible feat.” (1.7. 89-90) Macbeth impressionable nature is easily influenced by …show more content…
After Macbeth become the King, he consist a series of murder to secure his throne. Macbeth murders his closest friend, Banquo, because of the witches’ prophecies, which Banquo “shalt get kings, though thou be none” (1.3.69) Macbeth fears that the witches prediction of Banquo’s own descendants to become the kings of Scotland we eventually come true. In Act 3 scene 1, Macbeth is suspicious about Banquo, “Our fears in Banquo/ Stick deep; and in his royalty of nature/ Reigns that which would be feared" (3.1.47-49) Macbeth believes that Banquo knows intuitively that Macbeth’s intention to kill Duncan in order to seize the throne. Macbeth’s blind ambition drives him to thinks that he can cheat fate by killing Banquo and Fleance in order to protect his kingship. The second time Macbeth’s ambition gets the best of him occurs when her orders the execution of Macduff’s family. “The castle of Macduff I will surprise, / Seize upon Fife, give to th' edge o' th' sword / His wife, his babes, and all unfortunate souls / That trace him in his line.” (4.1. 166-169) Macbeth sees Macduff as a threat when he flees, because Macduff is the only loyal subject to the King. The murder of Macduff’s defenceless family proved that Macbeth is a violent tyrant who drag innocent people to death. By the end of the play, four deaths are attributed to Macbeth’s name, all murdered in

Related Documents

  • Decent Essays

    How Macduff ends up being the only one that is able to kill Macbeth. And how everything of the prophecy of the witches came true. But the overall theme of this story is obsession with power. All the people that Macbeth killed or order to kill (King Duncan, Banquo, Lady Macduff, and Macduff’s son) just because they were a threat for him and his possibilities of him being a king. And even his wife Lady Macbeth died throughout the story.…

    • 1465 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    She steals him of his manhood and basically tells him what to do in order to make him king and her queen. She is represented as the “man” or the one with all the power. Kesur agrees with this by saying “Lady Macbeth emerges and drives the hesitant Macbeth to act; she is the willing propelling his achievements. Once Lady Macbeth hears of the witches prophecy, Duncan’s life is doomed”(5562). This shows that Lady Macbeth is the one with the real power and Macbeth is the one just doing all her dirty work.…

    • 780 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Macbeth chooses to see what his future holds and the witches warn him to be fearful of Macduff, which causes Macbeth to ruin his life even further by murdering Macduff’s family. “Beware Macduff,/Beware the Thane of Fife.” (IV.i.72). The witches warned Macbeth intentionally knowing that he will do anything in order to keep his new found power, causing him to continue his spiral downwards. Macbeth decides to go against Macduff and the only way that he can save himself is to murder Macduff’s entire family. After the murder of Macduff’s family, Macduff ends up killing Macbeth and his short reign of power is now…

    • 941 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Horror In Macbeth Essay

    • 1100 Words
    • 5 Pages

    When Macbeth found out the three prophecies from the Weird Sisters that one of the prophecies was that he will become king. He had thought of this before and he fears ever so greatly that his titanic and dark ambition will over power the moral beliefs that he stand for, he hopes and prays that “let not light see my black and deep desires”, but Macbeth becoming king is an inevitable ambition. Lady Macbeth displays horror when she was talking to the spirits to give her the strength to become strong enough to kill Duncan and become less like a woman and more like a man. Lady Macbeth symbolizes blind ambition, Blind ambition can be seen as having no limitations, which in turn means that no matter what, one will do whatever to achieve one’s ambition and does not see morality and the consequences of one’s actions. She forces Macbeth to kill Duncan, in order to become king thinking that he will benefit from this process, however it brought more harm than good.…

    • 1100 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Witches Advancement of the Plot Macbeth is a tragedy written by William Shakespeare in the setting of Scotland during the medieval times. Macbeth is a nobleman with an exceptional amount of character flaws, one being his ambition. The witch’s knowledge of this flaw allows them to mislead Macbeth in actions that later develop the plot of the play. The witches advance the plot by motivating Macbeth to kill Duncan and Banquo, and later leading Macbeth to an arrogance in battle against Macduff. Three witches first appear to Macbeth and Banquo in Act I to reveal the men’s futures.…

    • 795 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    In this case the ending seems to be a just but tragic one. Consequently it seems evident that Macbeth could justly be considered a “tragic hero” as his grievous story satisfies the defined criteria for a tragic hero. Macbeth holds a substantial amount of power, shows essential truths about humanity through his suffering, has tragically wasted qualities, contains a tragic flaw leading to his downfall and ultimately finds some form of resignation in his…

    • 711 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Within Macbeth, Macbeth murders Duncan for the crown, and then demands the killing of his friend, Banquo, and Banquo’s son, Fleance, to secure his position as king, which is something he would not have done without his tragic flaw of vaulting ambition, thus showing a major character change. Throughout Act I, Macbeth is being persuaded by his wife, Lady Macbeth, to murder King Duncan when he comes to visit Macbeth’s castle, Inverness. She is delighted to hear the prophecies from the witches in Macbeth’s letter to her and wants to make sure that they come true. Before Duncan arrives at the castle, she calls upon evil spirits for strength so that “no compunctious visitings of nature / Shake [her] fell purpose” (1.4.35-36), and that she can fully go through with the murder. However, she has trouble persuading Macbeth to participate in the plan of…

    • 759 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    When Macbeth and Banquo encounters the witches, they tell Macbeth that he will be king, this gives Macbeth ideas. Macbeth was once an honorable, ambitious man. However, this ambition transforms into a devastating hunger for power, which is ultimately his downfall.The weird sisters tells Macbeth of his prophecies. “All hail, Macbeth, thou shalt be king hereafter!” (1.3.1-3) From these lines we know that the witches told Macbeth of his prophecies and this…

    • 1047 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Macbeth Macbeth is a play written by the famous playwright William Shakespeare and is thought to have first been performed in 1606. The play is a Scottish tragedy and is about a general named Macbeth, who one day gets approached by three witches, who reveal a prophecy that Macbeth shall one day be king of Scotland. Spurred on by ambition and his own wife Macbeth kills the current king, Duncan, and takes the thrown. The guilt of killing the king leads to down spiral into madness and paranoia as Macbeth continues murdering people to keep his secret. In the end he becomes a tyrant and is taken down in a civil war.…

    • 773 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    (4.1.170-174) Ordering a murder on Macduff`s wife and child shows that Macbeth has become completely driven by ambition; he has lost all sense of humanity. Macbeth`s desire to oppose Macduff and retain the throne would take him as far as shedding two innocent and defenseless people`s blood. In Shakespeare`s Macbeth, blood is a symbol of violence; and guilt; it is the result of the character`s ambition. Blood is a crucial element of the plot and character development in this play; Macbeth is often referred to as one of Shakespeare`s most bloody performances. Whether it`s physical violence or mental insanity from guilt, blood is implemented all throughout the plot of the play.…

    • 1276 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays