Why Is Macbeth A Tragic Hero

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Macbeth is a tragedy of epic proportions highlighting the innate struggle between good and evil. However, is Macbeth a villain or a tragic figure? I would argue that the character of Macbeth is a classic example of a tragic hero, the literary device used to explore the duality of human nature. As a writer it can be used to help develop the plot by creating conflict, drama, or fear in the reader. In the case of Macbeth the actions of the title character set in motion a series of events that basically write the rest of the story. Macbeth's murderous actions come back to haunt him, both literally and figuratively, and in the end lead to his own destruction. For the most part nearly all of the main characters are killed one way or another. What…show more content…
For example, a tragic hero is a privileged or admired person, either for the family that they were born into or for an action or event that took place. A tragic hero possesses a fatal flaw, or hamartia as defined by Aristotle, which leads to the hero's death or downfall. The hero's fate is controlled by the flaw he or she possesses, which causes a reversal (peripeteia) of their life, starting off as privileged but a downfall leads to death, most often. The hero's downfall may seem greater since they fell from a noble life. The hero is also damaged by his or her experiences, whether it is physical, spiritual, or both. Some may say that a tragic hero suffers more than deserved, meaning death is not always necessary or there is always "two sides to the story," due to imperfect…show more content…
For example, his performance in battle in defense of his king's land in Act I. Against hopeless odds Macbeth defeats the opponent and is praised for his courage, which gives him hope in becoming king. "But all's too weak; For brave Macbeth -well he deserves that name- Disdaining Fortune, with his brandish'd steel, Which smoked with bloody execution" (Act 1 Scene 2). Macbeth also possesses a fatal flaw, as he becomes at war with his conscience (hamartia). Macbeth wants to be king, but he does not want to kill the current king, Duncan. After the Witches' prophecy Macbeth began to plan his demise, but decides against the murder. Eventually though, evil influences, wether it be the Witches, Lady Macbeth, or Macbeth himself, cause him to perform an act that propels him beyond redemption and he knows it. Macbeth's fate is controlled by his major flaw, that being, killing Duncan and Banquo. MacBeth is first admired and living a somewhat normal life before the murders, but ambition for power got the best of him which caused him to commit these
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