Macbeth Tragic Hero Analysis

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The tragic hero is one of the most commonly misused terms in literature. Although difficult to find a character fitting of these qualities, Shakespeare’s Macbeth is deserving of the tragic hero status. In accordance to Aristotle’s poetics, Macbeth is not all good and not all bad, he undergoes proper anagnorisis, as well as proper peripeteia, making him a tragic hero.
To be a tragic hero, Aristotle writes in Poetics that the hero must be not all good and not all bad. Scholars who argue Macbeth is not a tragic hero say he is solely a tyrant. Conversely, in the beginning of the play, the sergeant refers to him as “brave Macbeth” (1.2.18), even comparing him to “sparrows eagles,/ or the hare the lion” (1.2.38-39). The sergeant is a first hand
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Aristotle lays out the qualities not all good, and not all bad as such that must affect all those around the hero; all characters in the novel have to experience the glory of the hero as well as the downfall. Macbeth being a war hero is deserving of being “cosmic” good, as his leadership as a general leads to the victory of two wars, saves many lives, and defends the fate of Scotland. It is also necessary to pity Macbeth; this is another general rule of the tragic hero. After Macbeth receives the witches prophecies, he discovers the second prevision is coming true and toys with the idea of killing the king. Yet, he hesitates, as he states, “if good, why do I yield to that suggestion/ whose horrid image doth unfix my hair/ and make my seated heart knock at my ribs,/against the use of nature?” (1.3.146-149). Macbeth originally does not have the intention to kill …show more content…
Macbeth originally has a promising fortune, leaving fear no residence in his mind. Macbeth has a false sense of security given to him by the witches apparitions. As Macbeth exclaims, “bring me no more reports. Let them fly all!/ Till Birnam Wood remove to Dunsinane,/ I cannot taint with fear.” (5.3.1-3), he does not believe he has anything to fear. His arrogance is leading him to believe that fate is favouring him and he should not waste time on doubt. As he has seemingly already gotten away with the murder of Duncan and Banquo, Macbeth is growing overconfident. Correspondingly his reversal of fortune occurs when Lady Macbeth dies. Macbeth states, “I have almost forgot the taste of fears” (5.5.10), reestablishing his ability to fear. While before he forgot his qualms, a shift occurs for Macbeth. This signifies the first time since the witches apparitions he is beginning to allow himself the feeling of unease. Soon thereafter, he discovers the death of his wife and the rest of his plans begin to

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