Macbeth is a tragic hero because he started the play as a good man, but the manipulations of the Weird Sisters and his wife brought out his baser qualities. This leads to Macbeth's moral corruption and downfall by the play's end.
It is clear Macbeth begins the play as a loyal friend and decent man. When the Captain speaks about the battle, Macbeth is described as "brave," even as "Valor's minion" (Act I, Scene 2, lines 18, 21). As a result of Macbeth's great loyalty and service to the crown, Duncan describes him as "valiant" and "worthy" (Act I, Scene 2, line 26). In addition, Macbeth's wife, the person who would likely know him best, describes him as "full o' th' milk of human kindness" (Act I, Scene 5, line 17). Macbeth tries to get out of the plan to kill Duncan, telling Lady Macbeth, "We will proceed no further in this business" because his own ambition is not enough to compel him to murder his friend, kinsman, and king (Act I, Scene 7, line 34).
It is not until Lady Macbeth...
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