Essay, Research Paper: Macbeth Tragism


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The character of Macbeth is a classic example of a Shakespearean tragic hero.
There are many factors which contribute to the degeneration of Macbeth of which
three will be discussed. The three points which contribute greatly to Macbeth's
degeneration are the prophecy which was told to him by the witches, how Lady
Macbeth influenced and manipulated Macbeth's judgment, and finally Macbeth's
long time ambition which drove his desire to be king. Macbeth's growing
character degenerates from a noble man to violent individual. The prophecies
which were told by the witches were one of the factors which contributed to the
degeneration of his character. If it had not been for the witches telling him
that he was to be Thane of Cawdor, Thane of Glamis, and King of Scotland,
Macbeth would still be his ordinary self. As a result of the prophecies, this
aroused Macbeth's curiosity of how he could be King of Scotland. As the play
progresses, Macbeth slowly relies on the witches prophecies. Shakespeare uses
the witches as a remedy for Macbeth's curiosity which corrupts his character.
The influence of Macbeth's wife, Lady Macbeth also contributed to his
degeneration of character. Lady Macbeth's character in the beginning reveals
that she is a lovable person. When Lady Macbeth was ready to kill King Duncan
herself, it showed that Lady Macbeth could not murder King Duncan because he
reminded her of her father. This proves that Lady Macbeth has a heart deep
inside her. Lady Macbeth plays an important role in this play because she
provided a scheme which caused Macbeth to assassinate King Duncan. After Macbeth
had killed King Duncan, he later regrets on his wrong doing. At the point of
this play the audience can note the change in Macbeth's character. Macbeth's
first murder was a trying experience for him, however after the first murder,
killing seemed to be the only solution to maintain his reign of the people of
Scotland. Therefore, it was Lady Macbeth who introduced the concept of murder to
Macbeth. Macbeth's ambition also influenced his declining character. However,
Macbeth's ambition had not been strong enough to carry the motive to kill King
Duncan. Lady Macbeth's influence also comes in to play because if not for Lady
Macbeth, his ambition would not have been intensified enough to drive him to
obtain and maintain his title of King of Scotland no matter what it took, even
if it meant murdering. Macbeth's ambition influenced the cause of his new
character. This new character of Macbeth contained greed, violence, and power
hunger. Macbeth shows this when he kills King Duncan. In conclusion, the
prophecies given to him by the witches, Lady Macbeth's influence and plan, and
his intensified ambition, all contributed greatly to his degeneration of
character which resulted to his downfall...death. Therefore Macbeth character
displays strong signs of a tragic hero, making him the ideal classic example.
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