Macbeth. A tragic Hero

Essay by Anonymous UserHigh School, 11th gradeA+, February 1997

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In Macbeth, the imagery of animals behavior and class status advances the theme of

animals in relation to human characteristics. The examples discussed in my paper will

make it quite clear that this imagery is evident, throughout the play.

In Act 1 sc. 3 line 8, the first witch chants and says that the sailor is the master of

the Tiger. The witch is comparing the man to a Tiger. The tiger is a very good animal and

is near the top of the Elizabethan World Picture. Hence the man is good. Furthermore

the witch say's that she herself is like a rat without a tail. Thus she is missing something

important. The witch is incomplete, just like the rat. Furthermore I believe she is hiding

something because when you are missing something you are apt to be very self conscious

and hide it. In addition the rat is veer low on the chain of being.

The next passage is Act 1 sc. 7 line 49. In this passage Lady Macbeth is quoted

saying "like the poor cat I 'th' adage" (1, vii., 49). That means "the cat who eats fish but

will not get his feet wet " (Folgers, p 40). Lady Macbeth is telling Macbeth that he is like

the cat because he wants to become king but he won't get his hands bloody. However

Lady Macbeth would find someone else to get their feet wet, someone to do her dirty


In act 2 scene 4 line 15, the old man and Ross talk about the recent murder. The

old man says that the killer, an owl made sure no one was looking and attacked the falcon

and killed it. The owl, lower then the falcon on the chain of being usually eats mice,