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Essay/Term paper: Macbeth: macbeth the tragic hero

Essay, term paper, research paper:  Macbeth

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Macbeth: Macbeth The Tragic Hero

The most recent meaning of the word Tragic Hero as defined by Microsoft
Works dictionary is "A hero of noble stature whose fortunes are reversed as a
result of weakness." Many characters in the play were affected by tragedy for
a number of reasons, but without argue, Macbeth and his reverse of fortunes are
due to his own actions, and the rest of the cast were merely victims of this.
Macbeth's action's lead to his very nemises. From the beginning of the play this
tragedy of his was manifested through forces beyond human; the supernatural if
you will. These forces were that of the witches. The next factor in determining
his fate was his own decision's and action's. Lady Macbeth is the second reason
for Macbeth's tragedy; without her support in aiding his decision, Macbeth would
have never had the strength to lie, scheme, and destroy to such extremes. The
last, and most devastating to Macbeth, was his cripled conscious which made him
act out of selfeshness and lust. The sequence of these factors were most
defenitely provoked by the evilness and twisted nature of the witches, for if it
weren't for their influence, then Macbeth would have never turned his desires
into reality.
At the very beginning of the play Macbeth is nothing but a general
fighting for his country. His fellow fighter's admire Macbeth, for in their
eyes, and even in the eyes of the highest of authority, his nobility and
couragousness is looked up to. His success for his acheivement is rewarded, and
his confidence is made stronger because of this. But this is only the beginning,
and soon these good fortunes will come to a tragic end. The audience is then
introduced to a group of witches. Three witches who appear as wicked and
repulsive. They seem to signify all that is wrong and corrupt. Macbeth's over-
confident attitude is the first characteristic the witches detect, and they take
advantage of this trait to make his life as miserable as they possibly can. He
encounters the witches in Act1, scene1, and from this point he is now a step
closer to realising what his future holds... so he thinks. The witches first
address Macbeth as king, and Banguo as one "Lesser than Macbeth."(1.2.65) Infact,
Macbeth isn't king, never the less, the witches insist in prophecising that he
is and will be. The witches are already planting seeds of persuation into his
head which are made to bloom into tragedy. These destructive and manipulative
forces the witches have power over alter his viewpoints about his values and
morals beyond the point of no return. Already, it is a tragedy in itself that
Macbeth's invulnarability lead him to believing such evilness.
Macbeth may have listened and considered what may be true about the
witch's prophecie's, but he should be credited with the fact that he did have
doubt. It is true that Macbeth thought about what he had to do in order to ever
become king, and he could never imagined himself going as far as killing king
Duncan: "Why, if fate will have me king, fate may crown me."(1.7.14) In other
words, he hasn't established his decision yet.
But now we are introduced to Lady Macbeth. She is very pleased to hear
of Macbeth's victory and she is very supportive once he's successfully
considered thane of Cawdor. She sees the horizon for her husband is now broader,
and she wants only the best for him. Macbeth tells her what the witches see in
his future, and this gives her scope to an even grander possibilty; they can
kill the king and make the vision actuality. So at this point it is Lady
Macbeth's to encourage Macbeth into following his dreams, despite what is right
or wrong. She doesn't allow Macbeth to be coward and she makes it very clear to
him that he lacks manhood:

What beast was't then/ That made you break this enterprise to me?/ When
you durst do it, then you were a man;/ And, to be more than what you were,
you would Be so much more the man. Nor time nore place Did then adhere,
and yet you would make both;/They have made themselves, and that their
fitness now/ Does unmake you. I have given suck, and konw How tender 'tis
to love the babe that milks me:/ I would, while it was smiling in my face,/
Have pluck'd my nipple from his boneless gums,/ And dash'd the brains
out, had I so sworn as you/ Have done to this.(1.7.48-59)

Lady Macbeth convinces Macbeth to follow through with the killing of King Duncan.
She's now the second persuasive factor which aids Macbeth into the tragic
demise which is soon to come. Now it is up to Macbeth to analyze his thoughts
and decide his fate.
He great "hero of noble stature", Macbeth, chose the wrong path for
himself; he chose to follow his greed as well the depraved influences around him.
These components lead to his killing the king, killing innocent people like
women and children, which is cruel in itself, the loss of his morals and sanity,
the lose of love for his wife, and at the end of the play, the loss of his very
life. All that he worked for was "reversed as a result of his weakness", as
defined by the word tragic hero. His conversion from bad to good ultimately
affected his fortunes.



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