Macbeth: Richard Nixon As A Tragic Hero

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Peter Pham Mr. Daniel English AS 4 5 March 2009 Thou art not tragic if thou art not responsible According to the world, Richard Nixon is considered an ambitious phony. To be frank, that is quite true, for Nixon did after all cheated his way into re-election. A few days after his dark secret was exploited, he shamefully resigned and went down in history as the closest thing to a Tyrant the U.S had ever known. Nixon wasn’t much different than Macbeth; both fit under the same category – a tragic hero who caused their own downfall, not by fate, but by choosing wrong. These once honorable leaders were soon corrupted by the fatal flaw of ambition, and thus, fell quickly into a downward spiral due to errors on their own part. In the play Macbeth,…show more content…
After learning Malcolm is to become “The Prince of Cumberland”, Macbeth asks himself “That is a step/On which I must fall down or else o’erleap,/For in my way it lies” (I.iv.55-57). Macbeth’s decision brings up the motif that humans are able to choose from right and wrong. He is not a victim of fate because clearly, he has the ability to select his path. In this case, Macbeth follows the path of his prediction, not because he was told he will be king, but because his flaw of being ambitious pushed him towards the path he has chosen. Also, since Macbeth was presented with an opportunity to become King, he, like many others, took it by their own will. Macbeth’s human quality to choose a path further provides evidence that Macbeth is not a victim of fate, and therefore qualifies as a tragic hero. Afterwards, Macbeth is convinces himself that there is “…no spur/To prick the sides of my intent, but only/Vaulting ambition, which o’erleaps itself“ (I.vii.25-28) Shakespeare illustrates how Macbeth makes rational decisions, making Macbeth a very sane character. Macbeth is able to justify his actions, and was temporary able to convince himself he will not go along with the plan to kill Duncan. His ambition, a flaw which Macbeth possess, was the only thing plus Lady Macbeth that kept Macbeth from turning the other way and not choosing to kill Duncan. The witches merely told Macbeth what his…show more content…
He has no men, no honor, no loyalty and no love. Instead of having these luxuries of a king, he has an overwhelming guilt – all because he killed Duncan. Macbeth realizes that since he performed many acts of evil, he will not receive good consequences but rather a life of sorrow and depression. On account of understanding what he did was unsound and evil, he accepts that he deserves these and therefore, is considered a classic tragic hero. With the death of Macbeth, William Shakespeare shows an insight of a perfect example of a classic tragic hero. Despite bending a few rules, Shakespeare illustrates that if a character is not held by fate, causes their own downfalls and realizing it was their own fault, they are what many call a tragic hero. Being a tragic hero isn’t limited to just stories or plays, but can be applied in the real world as well. Richard Nixon was thought to be a great man, but after following the same road Macbeth had taken, they both found themselves destroyed by guilt, and are now considered, “Tragic

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