The main character, Macbeth is a classic example of a Shakespearean tragic hero. At the beginning of the play, Shakespeare defines Macbeth as a hero very clearly to the reader. However, as the play progresses, Shakespeare gradually indicates that Macbeth is a tragic hero. There are many factors that contribute to Macbeth's degeneration. First, Macbeth is shown to be a man of exceptional nature as well as high position. However, he errs in listening and trusting too much in others. This error brings ruin to him. Finally, Macbeth possesses a tragic flaw in his personality, which leads to his acting in a certain manner. Macbeth is ambitious, and it is this ambition which eventually dooms him. Macbeth's character gradually degenerates from that of a noble man to that of a violent individual.
At first, Shakespeare shows Macbeth's exceptional nature as well as his high position. At the beginning of the play, Macbeth is portrayed as a brave, selfless warrior - competent and loyal to his lord Duncan. He defends Duncan by killing Macdonwald and the forces of the traitorous Thane of Cawdor. He performs these acts not because he enjoys slaughtering people, but because he is addicted to the fame, royal favor, and titles such as "valor's minion" (Shakespeare, 13) and "Bellona's bridegroom" (Shakespeare, 15). No doubt he also rejoices in the success that crowns his efforts in battle. Macbeth remains an honorable gentleman until he begins to covet the kingship. He is not a criminal and has no criminal tendencies. .
Gradually, Macbeth's error in being guided too much by outside forces brings ruin to him. Macbeth's strong belief in the prophecies is part of this error. If it had not been for the witches telling him that he would be Thane of Glamis, Thane of Cawdor, and King of Scotland, he would still be as he was in the beginning of the play. He believes too much in the supernatural, and therefore slowly relies on the witches' prophecies.