Tragic Heroes of Macbeth
A tragic hero is a main character of a tragedy who begins with greatness, but is endowed with a tragic flaw which causes a drastic fall from greatness. Despite his/her fall from greatness, they usually win a moral victory in the end. They are responsible for their own fate, and they realize the folly of their ways, but at a time when their mistake is irreversible. They typically face their fate honorably after recognizing their mistake. Tragic heroes evoke feelings of pity from the audience.
One character in Macbeth who might be called a tragic hero is Lady Macbeth. Lady Macbeth was great not only in her rank as the Lady of Glamis, but in her power over Macbeth. She reached her peak after convincing Macbeth to kill Duncan, when she become queen. Her tragic flaw was her greed; she plotted murder in order to make herself queen, and the guilt on her conscious drove her mad.
Lady Macbeth was responsible for her own fate, for it was her own sinful actions that caused her to be ridden with guilt. Yet Lady Macbeth was not a tragic hero, for several reasons. First, whether or not she realized the error of her ways remains in doubt; subconsciously she did so, as we saw in the scene where she sleep-walked, but we do not know if she acknowledged her mistake in consciousness. Lady Macbeth also won no moral victory, nor did she face her fate honorably.
Another character that could be considered a tragic hero is Banquo. Like Lady Macbeth, Banquo was great in rank. His virtues also made him great. His tragic flaw merely misjudging Macbeth. He was only very partially responsible for his own death, if at all, for though his suspicions of Macbeth...