What aspects of Macbeth's personality qualify his position as a tragic hero in Macbeth?"Because the hero is a criminal, Macbeth, one of the world's great tragedies, violates many of the critical...

What aspects of Macbeth's personality qualify his position as a tragic hero in Macbeth?

"Because the hero is a criminal, Macbeth, one of the world's great tragedies, violates many of the critical cliches about tragedy," says P.N.Siegel. Illustrate your answer citing incidents from the play.

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litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Macbeth is a tragic hero because he was once a valiant warrior, but he had a fall. 

We know that Macbeth was a good soldier.

 For brave Macbeth—well he deserves that name—

Disdaining fortune, with his brandish'd steel,

Which smoked with bloody execution,(20)

Like valor's minion carved out his passage

Till he faced the slave, (Act 1, Scene 2, p. 9)

Often the tragic hero’s tragic flaw is vanity.  This is the case with Macbeth, but his flaw is also ambition.  He was always ambitious, but when the witches offered him the kingship he could not turn it down.  He decides to act to become king, by killing the king and framing the next in line. 

This is why Macbeth is really a tragic hero.  He was a hero, but his flaw got the best of him and he brought down himself, his wife, and his kingdom.

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