Essay by JustLilMeHigh School, 11th gradeA+, September 2004

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In William Shakespeare's famous tragedy, Macbeth, the play's antagonist, Macbeth, emerges as the tragic hero. Macbeth's righteousness and dominance are marred by a tragic flaw that leads to his eventual downfall. The contributions of Macbeth towards his fate in becoming the tragic hero are palpable from the beginning of the play. Like other Shakespearean plays, the tragic hero is a good man, honorable, and highly respected from the beginning. Unfortunately Macbeth's role takes a tragic turn. What seem to be his strengths eventually backfires, and turn into his weaknesses. The effects of outside influences on his nature make him a tragic hero as well.

Macbeth has the tragic flaw of ambition. His drive for success overpowers him, and his sense of right and wrong become tragically distorted. At the start of the tragedy, his conscience is in tact, making it difficult for him to decide to kill the king. As he imagined the murder, his mind rejects it and said, "Why if fate will have me king, why, chance may crown me.

Act 1 sc 3 p 44. Lady Macbeth warps Macbeth's mind and instead of waiting to see if chance will make him king, he decides to kill King Duncan. His ambition grows and his cherished desire of becoming a powerful king grows as well. Although Macbeth's ambition is responsible for his rise to power, it is also responsible for his devastating downfall. Macbeth's jealousy is also a setback and his jealousy and ambition combined lead him to kill Banquo and his attempt to kill Fleance, Banquo's son. It is Macbeth's ambition that defeated his good nature, and that pushed him to break all moral boundaries.

There are many outside influences on Macbeth that effect his nature. Two of the most important are Lady Macbeth and the witches. The...