What does tragic of law mean? And how it is employed in Macbeth's character as a tragic hero?

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William Delaney | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I think you must have been misled by a typographical error in whatever you were reading. The subject must have been "tragic flaw." This refers to an Aristotlean concept that the ideal character in a tragedy is a essentially noble individual who comes to a tragic end because of a single flaw in his character. In Shakespeare's Macbeth the hero's tragic flaw is generally taken to be blind ambition. Shakespeare probably knew a great deal more about writing plays than Aristotle, since he was a playwright, an actor, a director, a producer, and a part-owner of a theater. Shakespeare evidently followed classic rules when it suited him and disregarded them when he pleased, as can be seen in the liberties he took with the traditional "unities" of time, place and action. Macbeth had more than one flaw in his character. He was henpecked, gullible, treacherous, and an incompetent ruler.


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