The Tragic Hero In Macbeth And The Great Gatsby By F. Scott Fitzgerald

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A tragic hero is a character who makes a judgement error that inevitably leads to his/her own destruction. In Macbeth by William Shakespeare and The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, there are many factors that influence the protagonists to act the way they do. It is not just Gatsby and Macbeth that make bad decisions, but the environment around them that contributes to their downfall. The ambition that drives Gatsby and Macbeth to commit crimes serves as a poor influence. Characters such as Daisy and Lady Macbeth provoke the protagonists in the most unpleasant ways. The lust for a flashy and successful life leads both characters to act immorally. Lastly, they allow their imagination to get the best of them. The ambition that causes Gatsby …show more content…
Gatsby is so trusting in Daisy, thinking that after 5 years she has waited for him and still loves him. Nick explains “He had waited five years and bought a mansion where he could “come over” some afternoon to a stranger’s garden.” (Page 83) Gatsby never imagined that Daisy would have a husband or child, and was very hopeful that destiny would bring them together. After the hit and run, Nick finds Gatsby hiding on Tom and Daisy’s property. Nick finds out that Daisy is responsible for the death and Gatsby is admitting of this by saying “Yes, he said after a moment, but of course I’ll say I was.” (Page 151). It appears that Gatsby believed that such a heroic act of kindness would finally impress Daisy enough to leave Tom. Gatsby was infatuated with Daisy and blind to how selfish and petty Daisy really was, not seeing that Daisy wouldn’t do the same for him. Correspondingly, Lady Macbeth makes Macbeth feel like his motivation for becoming king should revolve around her. “A …show more content…
“It is too full o’ th’ milk of human kindness to catch the nearest way.” (1.5, 16-17) Lady Macbeth influences Macbeth here by claiming that he isn’t strong enough to kill King Duncan and in her own devious way, convinces him to murder many people. Lady Macbeth is not the murderer but is responsible for drugging the guards. Essentially, the desire that Macbeth and Gatsby both have for their women exceeded the limits of doing what is right. The desperate need to be successful, wealthy and well known leads both protagonists to act immorally. Gatsby is corrupted by money but was determined to be more successful than his parents. “His parents were shiftless, and unsuccessful farm people-his imagination had never really accepted them as his parents at all. The truth was that Jay Gatsby, of West Egg, Long Island, sprang from his Platonic conception of himself.” (Page 104) Even from a young age, Gatsby couldn’t accept reality because he felt destined to do and be better things in life. “Gatsby had come such a long way to his blue lawn, and his dream must have seemed so close he could hardly fail to grasp it. But

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