Macbeth: Tragic Hero

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Macbeth: Tragic Hero

In Ancient Greece, legendary philosopher Aristotle defined the term "tragic hero" under a set of 4 strict characteristics. One must be noble of birth, have a tragic flaw, a reversal of fortune, and must discover that the reversal was brought by his own actions. As William Shakespeare was writing Macbeth, he took these characteristics and used them to mold his main character, Macbeth. Throughout history, Macbeth has become a prime example of a tragic hero.

Aristotle defined a tragic hero as someone who had something to loose and would capture the onlooker's pity. To do so, the hero could not be of low status because they would never have a dramatic reversal of fortune, thus, Aristotle clarified it as having been born of nobility. This making the hero have everything to loose and making him an ideal model of a tragic hero. In this case, Macbeth is a perfect model for this guideline.

Macbeth begins by being the war hero whom every one loves and admires. He later rises to the lofty position of King of Scotland. At this time, he can ascend no further in status. This will only make his fall a harder one. As the reader progresses throughout the play, they can see that Macbeth is not the merciless killer whom will later consume him and that he has a sense of right and wrong. While Macbeth considers the idea of killing King Duncan, he breaks down and shows his fear and anxiety. He only accomplishes his task after being pressed into it by his wife, Lady Macbeth. Evil soon envelops his soul and he goes on a killing rampage. As he does so, he puts Scotland on hold. It quickly goes out of control and citizens begin to build an uprising. As...