Macbeth A Tragic Or Tyrant? Essay

2461 Words10 Pages
Macbeth, one of Shakespeare's most emotive plays, works on many different levels, each portraying a different message, all equally powerful and moral. The play itself, is short, but has a complex plot. It follows Macbeth, who, armed with some character flaws and some prompts from other characters, begins a journey that starts with him as Thane of Glamis and ends with him as King of Scotland. Macbeth cuts a bloody trail to achieve what he does, and as he says, 'blood will have blood.' Macbeth's downfall at the end of the play is not unexpected and it creates in the audience, a strong sense of both pity and fear. Macbeth therefore fits the role of a tragic hero, not a tyrant. In his poetics, Aristotle outlined what makes a tragic hero. He said that the hero must be a man of higher than mortal worth that is exhibited as suffering a change in fortune from happiness to misery because of a mistaken act to which he is lead to by his harmatia or tragic flaw. This fall evokes both pity and fear in the audience causing them to experience a feeling of catharsis. In Macbeth's case, it is his imagination, insecurity as a man and unnaturally large sense of ambition that contribute to his demise. After the latter two of these failings were targeted by the other characters in the play including Lady Macbeth, who questions Macbeth's manhood and the witches who play on his ambition, Macbeth ponders about, and then murders Duncan, setting his already overripe imagination into something so real he can 'see it.' This drives Macbeth on to murder increasingly until he realizes that to turn back would be just as hard as to keep going. He cuts a bloody swath through all that oppose or annoy him… including Macduff's children. Finally, as if all the heavens had turned, Macduff and the entire of England's army come to cleanse Scotland of Macbeth's tyranny. The witches, in their

More about Macbeth A Tragic Or Tyrant? Essay

Open Document