How was Macbeth's fall from grace a tragedy?

Essay by TashHigh School, 10th gradeA+, June 2003

download word file, 5 pages 3.0

Shakespeare presents an image of Macbeth originally as a hero, a role model of courage and bravery. However his indiscernible fascination with darker forces, portrayed by the witches, and whilst he is aware of the treachery in his subsequent actions throughout the play, his ambition engulfs his better judgement, where he contributes to his downfall from such greatness, and thus his character is human, enhancing such a tragedy. Macbeth experiences a sudden disastrous reversal in fortune where his material wealth rapidly multiplies and his personal values swiftly decrease, leaving him loveless, as well as childless, and eventually lifeless, factors which are remnant of Shakespearean tragedies. Even as he retains comprehension of his fate, approaching the play's finale the audience experiences a certain catharsis, in which they feel pity for his misfortune, even if this character has behaved appallingly, in that his ambition and Lady Macbeth had pressure him to transform someone he himself did not like.

Originally, Macbeth is portrayed as an image of prominence, and his relentless enthrallment with supernatural forces results in circumstances whirling out of his control. 'Brave Valour's minion carved out his passage...' and thus assisted significantly in the victory which ensued, earning him a multitude of respect from not only the people, but King Duncan. In fact, the worthy King does see to it that as an added prestige and a gift of gratitude to such a noble gentleman, the title of Thane of Cawdor which has been retrieved from a most 'disloyal traitor,' and somewhat ironically considering Macbeth's fate, 'what he has lost, Macbeth has won.' It appears, that upon the meeting of the three witches, who do deliver the three prophecies that indicate such a prosperous future for Macbeth, he is fuelled by his own ambition. It could be argued that...