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Would Lady Macbeth be considered a tragic hero?

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thomasss2 | eNotes Newbie

Posted March 5, 2012 at 5:00 AM via web

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Would Lady Macbeth be considered a tragic hero?

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William Delaney | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted March 5, 2012 at 5:18 AM (Answer #1)

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A tragic hero should only have one flaw. Lady Macbeth has too many flaws to be considered a tragic hero (or heroine). She is not only ambitious but unscrupulous, dishonest, deceitful, and manipulative. There is nothing to admire about her. In one scene she tells her henpecked husband, "Look like the innocent flower, but be the serpent under it." This is her philosophy.The audience might pity her at the end when she seems to be eaten up with guilt and to be experiencing a nervous breakdown, but at the same time they would probably be glad to see her getting just what she deserves. She is a wicked woman, and therefore she should not be considered tragic or heroic. Her own husband seems indifferent when he is told that she is dead.

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hadijaved | Student | Honors

Posted March 5, 2012 at 8:37 PM (Answer #2)

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Macbeth would be considered the tragic hero of the play but there is no doubt that Lady Macbeth is a tragic figure also.  she is a loyal and devoted wife and will do anything to fulfill the witches' prophecy of kingship.  In Act 1 Scene 5 when she is introduced to the audience her famous raven speech where she calls on spiritis proves that she is strong but willing to sacrifice herself for her husband.  At the end of the play, in Act 1 Scene 5 she is a shadow of her former self.  She is unable to sleep and is seen walking and talking in her sleep.  Her death at the end of the play is ammbiguous and we do not Know if she has committed suicide, but there can be no doubt that her involvement in the murder of Duncan and her growing estrangement for her husband have affected her deeply a and this is why she is a tragic figure in this play.

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madihaa | Student, Undergraduate | Valedictorian

Posted March 6, 2012 at 10:35 PM (Answer #3)

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yes in some sense we can say this because she also do suffers at the end like macbeth

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