Consider Macbeth as a tragic hero.

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mstultz72 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Aristotle serves us the recipe for tragedy in his Poetics.  There, he says a perfect tragedy must have a unified plot and a tragic hero that suffers a reversal of fortune as a result of a mistake in judgement.

Indeed, Macbeth, the play and the character, fit this mold.  Macbeth is a noble, valiant thane who (at first) is loyal to king, God, and country.  Soon, however, he entangles himself in a plot to murder the king, as devised by his wife.  Underscoring all of this is his belief in his victory over his ambition, cruelty, and suffering when he consults supernatural sources (the witches) that seem to help him control elements of time and fate.

Macbeth is also very thoughtful and poetic in his speech.  His soliloquies echo eternal themes of the nature of good and evil, ambition and cruelty, fate and free will, the natural and the supernatural.  His language elevates him above the rest (Lady Macbeth in particular).

Macbeth will suffer from a tragic mistake: blind ambition.  His Machiavellian attitude ("the ends justify the means") will disturb the natural order of society and family.  Soon, all will suffer.  He and his wife will succumb to mental illness because of guilt.

In the end, Macbeth will go out like he began: fighting.  He will valiantly try to defeat the moral agent of the play, Macduff.  Nay, he will take on a whole army by himself: man against the world.  His death will give us a katharsis, a purgation of pity of fear.  We will empathize with a man who risked it all at a chance for greatness and immortality.

sentberg | Student

Ambicious is shown in macbeth words, he expects too much more than he can trully get through his great effort. shakespear creat macbeth as a tragic hero in order to state his opinion that human beings have great potential to achieve their goals, they may get succed through asperation and persperation, otherwise, they may be destroyed by their own greedy in power and honor

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