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Macbeth - Tragic Hero

            The character of Macbeth in Shakespeare's "The Tragedy of Macbeth" is a classic example of a tragic hero. To completely dissect the nature of this title, the term "tragic hero" must first be defined. Aristotle famously interpreted that a tragic hero has to be a man "who is not eminently good and just, whose misfortune is brought about not by vice or depravity, by some error or frailty". Aristotle means that hero cannot be entirely good because the hero must commit a wrong act to lead to a misfortune. This is very comparable to Macbeth as he compromises his honor as a respected countryman and negates moral responsibility to receive power and a position which ultimately results in his tragic end.
             The main evidence that justifies Macbeth's title as a tragic hero is his character degeneration throughout the drama. In the very beginning of the drama in Act I, we are told how heroically Macbeth performed in battle while defending his king's land. Even when outnumbered, Macbeth fought valiantly and defeated his enemy. Shakespeare clearly wanted his audience to recognize that Macbeth was a hero. The reason he is tragic hero is because the audience cares about what happens to him. Macbeth's tragic flaw is his ambition, which he clearly states himself. It's also portrayed immediately after he hears the witches' prophecy, he contemplated the king's death, then lies to Banquo about it. The audience then notices their hero's flaws of ambition and deception. .
             Macbeth's ambition also shaped his declining character. However, Macbeth was not strong enough to motivate himself to kill Duncan. If Lady Macbeth had not pressured him to kill Duncan, his ambition would not have been intensified enough to do it on his own. The audience notices this because his first thought of murder was disgraceful, he could barely think about the idea of killing someone for power. Lady Macbeth plays an important role in Macbeth's demise because she basically orchestrated the entire plot to assassinate King Duncan.

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