William Shakespeare 's Macbeth As A Tragic Hero Essay

1004 Words Jan 7th, 2016 5 Pages
Every hero has a flaw. The Random House Dictionary defines a tragic flaw as “the character defect that causes the downfall of the protagonist of a tragedy”1. Every epic poem needs a tragic hero with a flaw in order to create a conflict. Tragic flaws add depth and realism to a fiction story. Playwright William Shakespeare is famous for using this very concept and applying it to the heroes in his works. In his play, Macbeth, Shakespeare develops the concept of a tragic hero as the story unravels. Shakespeare’s evolution of Macbeth’s character through the span of the play reveals that Macbeth’s hamartia is his moral weakness. Shakespeare begins to develop Macbeth’s hamartia as early as Act I. Upon one of Macbeth’s first mentions, Duncan deems him “noble” and says that he has a “smack of honor” (I.ii.78, 48). Lady Macbeth later juxtaposes Duncan’s description of Macbeth with her own. She refers to her husband as one who is “not without ambition, but without/ The illness should attend it” as well as someone who is “too full o’ th’ milk of human kindness” (I.v.19-20, 17). Shakespeare provides the widely opposing views of Macbeth in order to set up the decline of Macbeth’s morality. Macbeth’s transition from good to evil is first apparent when Macbeth decides to murder Duncan; although Lady Macbeth is the one who actually convinces him to make this decision. To do so, Lady Macbeth calls her husband a “coward in [his] own esteem”, telling him to “be more than a man”…

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