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Essay/Term paper: Macbeth--a tragic hero

Essay, term paper, research paper:  Macbeth

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In the play Macbeth by William Shakespeare, the character of Macbeth is discovered to be a classic example of a tragic hero. Macbeth is a very ambitious and courageous person who lets three main things turn him into a violent individual. Two of the points, which most greatly contribute to Macbeth"s fall, are the prophecy, which were told to him by the witches, and how Lady Macbeth influenced and manipulated Macbeth's judgment. These two factors along with his tremendous ambition to be king is what caused him to fall from a noble man who was loyal to his king to a violent man who would kill his king to become king!

The prophecies, which were told by the witches, was one of the factors that contributed to the fall of his character. If the witches would not have told him that he was going to become the Thane of Cawdor, Thane of Glamis, and King of Scotland, maybe Macbeth would not have went on this killing rampage and maybe order would have still been in Scotland. The only thing the prophecies did was, boost Macbeth"s ambition to be king and to control the future. When the witches told Macbeth all these good things, Macbeth felt as if he could not be beaten. He felt as if every thing was going like he wanted it to. That is until he hears the apparitions.

The influence of Lady Macbeth also contributed to the fall of Macbeth"s character. Lady Macbeth's character in the beginning reveals that she is a lovable person. We find out later that in actuality Lady Macbeth was ready to kill King Duncan herself. But because her husband Macbeth was of such high standard she persuaded/manipulated her husband to get Duncan killed. Lady Macbeth plays an important role in this play because she provided a scheme, which allows Macbeth a chance to assassinate King Duncan. After Macbeth had killed King Duncan, he later regrets on his wrongdoings, because at this point Macbeth"s conscience still has some say in what Macbeth does. Macbeth's first murder was a trying experience for him, however after the first murder, killing seemed to be the only solution to maintain his reign of the people of Scotland. That is how Lady Macbeth had part in the disintegration of Macbeth character. With out Lady Macbeth, Macbeth may not have had enough courage to pursue on his mission to kill Duncan.

Macbeth's ambition also influenced his downfall. However, Macbeth's ambition had not been strong enough to carry the motive to kill King Duncan. Lady Macbeth's influence also comes into play because if not for Lady Macbeth, his ambition would not have been strong enough to drive him to obtain and maintain his title of King of Scotland no matter what it took, even if it meant murder. Macbeth's ambition blinded him of the moral thing to do and his conscience no longer had any say in what Macbeth did to maintain his thrown. These events taking place in his life caused us to see a new side of Macbeth. This new side of Macbeth contained greed, violence, and power hunger. Macbeth illustrates this side until the last act when he says, "that keep the word of promise to our ear, and break it to our hope. I"ll not fight with thee". This is saying that he is tired of fighting and killing people, he just wants it to end but he will not live to be ruled by Malcolm.

In conclusion, the prophecies given to him by the witches, Lady Macbeth's influence and plan, and his strong ambition to be king, all contributed greatly to his fall of character, which resulted, to his downfall, then his death. If only he had realized the consequences for the murders he committed, or realized that he was really being immortal, or even if someone like Lady Macbeth could have told him how he was acting then this whole situation could have been avoided. Therefore Macbeth character displays strong signs of a tragic hero, making him the ideal classic example.


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