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Mac Beth As A Tragic Hero Essay

863 words - 4 pages

Is Macbeth the tragic hero of the play 'Macbeth?' This question may seem to be redundant; however, not all of Shakespeare's Tragedies are named after their tragic heroes. For example, Julius Caesar is not the tragic hero of 'Julius Caesar.' A tragic hero must conform to a set of characteristics which evolved all the way from ancient to medieval times. Macbeth conforms to these characteristics and is the tragic hero of 'Macbeth.'The death of an ordinary person in Medieval times was not considered tragic. This idea was based on the notion of 'fall'. If a peasant died, his death meant very little because he had not far to fall. In other words, a peasant did not have much of a life to lose. ...view middle of the document...

This is also the highest form of treason that one could commit. Moreover, Duncan is no ordinary king. He has been a great king. Even Macbeth says of him, 'Besides, this Duncan / hath borne his faculties so meek hath been /So clear in his great office,' (Shakespeare 57) This, of course, makes the crime even worse. After all he is not killing a bad king. But did Macbeth decide to kill Duncan by himself? Who persuaded Macbeth to kill Duncan?As with every tragic hero in Shakespearean times, Macbeth must be tempted or persuaded to commit a crime. Lady Macbeth is the catalyst. She does a very good job of persuading Macbeth to kill Duncan. When Macbeth refuses to kill Duncan, she says, ' And live a coward in thine own esteem,' (Shakespeare 59) She also says she is braver than he is when she says, ' I would, while it was smiling in my face, / Have plucked my nipple from his boneless gums, / And dashed the brains out, had I sworn / As you have to this.' (Shakespeare 59) This infuriates Macbeth, which in turn sparks his ambition to kill Duncan. Lady Macbeth is very clever because she uses Macbeth's good quality, his bravery, against him.By giving him a good quality, the author creates sympathy for Macbeth. Philosophers, such as...

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