Macbeth: An Aristotelian Tragic Hero

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An Aristotelian tragic hero is a character born of noble birth and, by destiny, has a tragic flaw that inevitably leads to his or her downfall and redeems his or herself by the end of the tragedy. For one to consider a play a tragedy, the character of the play must be noble, and the play typically starts off with happiness and wealth. The play ends with sadness and the hero has a tragic flaw that causes their downfall. In The Tragedy of Macbeth by William Shakespeare, Macbeth fits the definition of an Aristotelian tragic hero. Macbeth is a tragic hero because he starts by being loyal and trustworthy, develops a tragic flaw that leads to his downfall, and he redeems a small measure of himself before he dies. In the beginning of Act I, Macbeth…show more content…
That tragic flaw is his ambition to be king. He wants to be king so badly that he will murder if that is what it takes. Macbeth allows Lady Macbeth to manipulate him into killing Duncan and his desires are so strong that he acts on them. He gets extremely guilty and starts to hallucinate voices, people and objects. “I 'll go no more. I am afraid to think what I have done; Look on 't again I dare not.” (Act II, sc ii, Lines 48-50). Macbeth is getting extremely paranoid and feels bad killing Duncan. Macbeths ambitions caused him to murder Duncan, but he also had Banquo murdered, and wanted to murder Banquo 's son, Fleance. Macbeth wants Banquo killed because he saw him as a threat; however, Banquo had been Macbeth 's friend and thought he could trust him. "Fail not our feast"(Act III, sc i, Line 27). This shows irony because Banquo had trusted Macbeth, not knowing what Macbeth was planning for him. Macbeth wanted Banquo to come to a feast, only to actually have him murdered. Macbeth 's ambitions to become king had been so high that he had murderers murder his close friend. If Macbeth was not so ambitious and power hungry he would not have killed his friend and king, Macbeth had been a nobleman and had the trust of all the people he murdered. He let his ambitions take control of his actions.
Macbeth is a tragic hero because he redeemed a small measure of his nobility. He redeemed himself by fighting until the end of his life. He understood his fate and still fought. Macbeth also experiences guilt after everything that he has done. That shows he still has a conscious and has some good left over in him. “ Methought, I heard a voice cry, 'Sleep no more! Macbeth does murder sleep '.” (Act II, sc ii, Lines 45-47). Macbeth is extremely paranoid and guilty. He doesn’t believe he will be able to sleep after committing this

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