Why Is Macbeth A Tragedy

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shaketeach's profile pic

shaketeach | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

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At the beginning of the play, Macbeth is a hero.  After he is told by three witches that he will be king of Scotland in the future, he takes matters into his own hands and kills the king, Duncan.  He becomes king but must continue to kill in order stay king.  In the end he is killed.

It is a tragedy because we see a good man turn bad.



kc4u's profile pic

kc4u | College Teacher | (Level 3) Valedictorian

Posted on

This is a fundamental question about the genre and the ethical issues in the play where the tragedy that we see in it is inscribed. Macbeth is a tragedy because it shows suffering---physical (Duncan's, Lady Macduff's, Banquo's and so on) and psychological (Lady Macbeth, most manifestly).  It is the consequence of the actions, as executed by the different characters in the play.

It is a tragedy that combines the Greek dimensions of destiny and the more prominently Renaissance dimensions of individual agency. The play is a study of evil, both within the mind and without. For Macbeth and Lady Macbeth both, it is a tragedy of their ambition which is backed by a strong ethical imagination, rendering their mentalworld chaotic post the event of tragic sin or the action, prompted by the 'hamartia' of 'hubris' from which they both suffer.


arthurdeng1568's profile pic

arthurdeng1568 | Student | (Level 1) Honors

Posted on

Because it's in the name.

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