What quotes show that Macbeth is a hero in Macbeth?

One quote that shows that Macbeth is a hero in Macbeth is from a sergeant who reports Macbeth's victory to King Duncan, saying, "For brave Macbeth—well he deserves that name [...] Disdaining fortune, with his brandish'd steel, / Which smoked with bloody execution." This quote depicts Macbeth as a courageous, heroic character who is capable of great success.

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Macbeth is heroic in his reckless, courageous approach to life, in his defiance of fate and even in his struggle with himself. The descriptions of his bravery in I.ii show that his courage is not in question. This is a courage he never loses, though it wavers from time to time. Even when he has just murdered his king, there is a grandeur about Macbeth that makes him a tragic hero: a great man who has erred greatly and suffered greatly rather than a petty traitor like the former Thane of Cawdor. He describes his sin with the imagery of gods and oceans:

Will all great Neptune's ocean wash this blood
Clean from my hand? No, this my hand will rather
The multitudinous seas in incarnadine,
Making the green one red.

Macbeth is heroic even in his villainy. He has a hero’s code of physical courage and valor, so that part of his downfall is attributable to his trafficking with the powers of darkness, which do not behave in an heroic way or allow him to do so. Faced with Banquo’s ghost, he protests that he could deal with any purely physical threat. What he cannot cope with, as a warrior and a hero, is this threat that cannot be dispatched heroically:

What man dare, I dare:
Approach thou like the rugged Russian bear,
The arm'd rhinoceros, or the Hyrcan tiger;
Take any shape but that, and my firm nerves
Shall never tremble: or be alive again,
And dare me to the desert with thy sword;
If trembling I inhabit then, protest me
The baby of a girl.

Even in V.v, when he is all but beaten, his mood immediately before the death of Lady Macbeth is one of heroic defiance in the face of terrible odds:

Hang out our banners on the outward walls;
The cry is still “They come:” our castle's strength
Will laugh a siege to scorn: here let them lie
Till famine and the ague eat them up:
Were they not forced with those that should be ours,
We might have met them dareful, beard to beard,
And beat them backward home.

This continues to the very end. Though he is briefly dismayed by the revelation of Macduff’s birth by caesarian section, even the revelation that he is fated to die in the coming battle does not daunt him for long. His last words, again, are those of a man about to die a hero’s death:

I will not yield,
To kiss the ground before young Malcolm's feet,
And to be baited with the rabble's curse.
Though Birnam wood be come to Dunsinane,
And thou opposed, being of no woman born,
Yet I will try the last. Before my body
I throw my warlike shield. Lay on, Macduff,
And damned be him that first cries, “Hold, enough!”

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At the beginning of the play, Macbeth's courageous exploits on the battlefield are celebrated by King Duncan and the Scottish nobles. In act 1, scene 2, the Captain recalls Macbeth's heroic performance in battle against Macdonwald's forces by telling King Duncan,

But all’s too weak, For brave Macbeth—well he deserves that name—Disdaining fortune, with his brandished steel, Which smoked with bloody execution, Like valor’s minion carved out his passage Till he faced the slave; Which ne'er shook hands, nor bade farewell to him, Till he unseamed him from the nave to th' chops, And fixed his head upon our battlements (Shakespeare, 1.2.15-24).

The Captain proceeds to tell King Duncan how Macbeth and Banquo valiantly fought against Norwegian forces after defeating Macdonwald's soldiers. He likens Macbeth to a lion and says,

If I say sooth, I must report they were As cannons overcharged with double cracks, So they doubly redoubled strokes upon the foe. Except they meant to bathe in reeking wounds, Or memorize another Golgotha (Shakespeare, 1.2.63-41).

When Ross finds Macbeth to deliver the news that he has been given the title Thane of Cawdor, Ross begins by describing King Duncan's reaction to the accounts of Macbeth's fearless performance on the battlefield. Ross's account of the king's reaction once again emphasizes Macbeth's heroics. Ross tells Macbeth the following:

The king hath happily received, Macbeth, The news of thy success, and when he reads Thy personal venture in the rebels' fight, His wonders and his praises do contend Which should be thine or his. Silenced with that, In viewing o'er the rest o' the selfsame day, He finds thee in the stout Norweyan ranks, Nothing afeard of what thyself didst make, Strange images of death. As thick as tale Can post with post, and every one did bear Thy praises in his kingdom’s great defense, And poured them down before him (Shakespeare, 1.3.90-101).

As the play progresses, Macbeth falls victim to his own ambition and turns into a ruthless, malevolent tyrant.

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When the play begins, Macbeth is considered a hero. He has fought and defeated the enemy with bravery, strength and skill. The wounded sergeant reports the victory to King Duncan. He declares that Macbeth has ended the battle by killing Macdonwald and has his bloody sword to prove it:

For brave Macbeth—well he deserves that name—
Disdaining fortune, with his brandish'd steel,
Which smoked with bloody execution,(20)

Till he unseam'd him from the nave to the chaps,
And fix'd his head upon our battlements.(25)

King Duncan expresses his admiration for Macbeth's heroic qualities. In fact, he honors Macbeth with a new title. King Duncan declares that Macbeth will be the new Thane of Cawdor. King Duncan uses heroic adjectives to describe his cousin:

O valiant cousin! Worthy gentleman! 

King Duncan continues to exalt Macbeth. He refers to the previous Thane of Cawdor as a man who has lost his title. Now, Macbeth is the Thane of Cawdor. In the King's eyes, Macbeth is noble and honorable:                                    

What [Macdonwald] hath lost, noble Macbeth hath won.

Macbeth is a true hero. He has heroic qualities. When King Duncan describes Macbeth, he states that his kinsman is incomparable. On the battlefield, Macbeth's character speaks for itself through his bravery and determination to defeat Macdonwald. King Duncan states that Macbeth cannot be compared to any other.

It is a peerless kinsman. (65)

Clearly, King Duncan holds Macbeth in high esteem. When the King of Scotland has so much respect for a soldier and relative, that proves Macbeth has the qualities of a hero.

Of course, Macbeth changes and becomes a power-hungry murderer, but he was a hero at the beginning of the play.  

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