MacBeth - The Tragic Hero, Is MacBeth A "Tragic Hero?," MacBeth by Shakespeare

Essay by Toof_75_75 September 2002

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The Character of Macbeth fits Shakespeare's definition of a tragic hero. He let his main flaw, which is his ambition becomes his undoing. Three aspects of this will be discussed. The three prophecies that the witch's told Macbeth in the beginning, and how they used his flaw to manipulate him, how Lady Macbeth greatly influenced and manipulated Macbeth's judgment and finally his long time ambition which was his only driving force behind his desire to be king. Macbeth starts of as a true, noble man, but let his tragic flaw become his undoing.

The prophecies that were told to Macbeth during his meeting with the three witches were a large factor and the triggering event to the beginning of the deterioration of Macbeth's character. They played on his flaw to ignite his secret long time ambitions and dreams to be the king of Scotland as opposed to just a Thane, which no longer seemed enough.

If the witches hadn't bothered with Macbeth in the first place he would have carried on as his normal, noble self. It was the three prophecies that the witches had told him, which were that he would be the Thane of Glamis, Thane of Cawdor, and the King of Scotland that really got his ambitions going. As a result of his newly ignited ambitions, naturally he was quickly entertaining the thought of killing the present king, king Duncan. The witches new about Macbeth's ambitions and saw that they were his tragic flaw, so they used that flaw to manipulate him into evil doings.

He shall spurn fate, scorn death and bear

His hopes 'bove wisdom, grace and fear:

And you all know security

Is mortals' chiefest enemy (act 3, scene 5, l 30 - 34)

As a result of the witches prophecies Macbeths...