William Shakespeare, a well-known playwright, is famous for his tragedies such as Macbeth. In these tragedies, the main character is usually referred to as a « tragic hero ». But what is a tragic hero? And how is Macbeth (main character of Macbeth) a tragic hero? Studies show that Macbeth has all the aspects of a tragic hero: he's a powerful man of high social status, his actions affect others and he has a « tragic flaw » which wastes his talent and leads to his destruction, his death.
To show that Macbeth is a tragic hero, the term « tragic hero » must be defined. A Shakespearean tragic hero has six main characteristics that distinguish him. First, he has to be a great man, in other words a man of high social status. Secondly, he has to be a powerful man in such a way that his actions have repercussions on others. He also has to reveal fundamental truths about humanity through his suffering. His great character must show a talent that is wasted. He can't be perfect; he has to have a « tragic flaw » which leads to his destruction (death). And last but not least, when facing death, he should accept his fate, find some release or resignation. .
Macbeth is a man of importance. At the beginning of the play, he is Thane of Cawdor. Quickly he's attributed the tittle of Thane of Glamis. Macbeth is a noble man with many titles, he fulfils the first aspect of a tragic hero: a man of high social status.
After Macbeth kills King Duncan, he becomes the king of Scotland. From that point on, his actions have repercussions on the whole kingdom. His murder of the King makes the two heirs of the throne flea. His actions result in the death of many people such as his best friend Banquo, Macduff's wife and son.
Even though Macbeth seems to be on top of the world once he's become King of Scotland, he has no control, not even of himself. More so, he suffers.