A Tragic Hero is a common figure in many of Shakespeare's works. A Tragic Hero is usually a figure of royalty, fame or greatness. This person is predominately good, but falls from prominence due to personality flaws that eventually lead to self-destruction. Macbeth's major flaws are his ambition and impressionability. Due to their flaws, a Tragic Hero's actions are often atrocious and cause them to battle with their conscience after their desires have been accomplished. These battles with their conscience evoke empathy from the audience. A Shakespearean Tragic Hero will always lose their life in the end of the play as a result of re-establishment of what is good in the play. In Shakespeare's Macbeth, the title figure of the play can be seen as the Tragic Hero. .
There are many factors, which contribute to the decline of Macbeth. The three main factors which contribute greatly to Macbeth's degeneration are the prophecies which were told to him by the witches, Lady Macbeth's influence and ability to manipulate Macbeth's judgment, and finally Macbeth's long time ambition which drove his desire to be king. Macbeth's growing character decays from a noble man to a violent individual. .
When the play begins, Macbeth's greatness is already established. Macbeth has already earned the title of Thane of Glamis and will soon become the Thane of Cawdor. The fact that he has these titles demonstrates to the reader that Macbeth is good and an important figure of responsibility. He is also addressed as "Valiant cousin, worthy gentlemen." (Shakespeare 1:2 26), "Brave Macbeth, well he deserves that name." (Shakespeare 1:2 18) and as "Worthy Thane." by King Duncan. They way in which he is addressed by the influential members of his country further informs the reader that Macbeth is respectable. However, after Macbeth interacts with the three witches, his curiosity is stirred by their prophecies, especially their prediction that he will become king.