To What Extent Is Macbeth a Tragic Hero

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To What extent is Macbeth a Tragic Hero Greek philosopher Aristotle defines a tragic Hero as a man in who good and evil are mixed but in whom the good predominates. A more recent definition of tragic hero describes it as being a great or virtuous character in a dramatic tragedy that is destined for downfall, suffering or defeat. To be a tragic hero in one of Shakespeare’s plays you must have certain qualities. A noble birth with heroic or potentially heroic qualities. This person is fated by the Gods or by another supernatural force that brings upon great suffering. The character must win our admiration while having a sometimes fatal personality flaw. The protagonist should gain insight and be enlightened throughout the great suffering. And finally the tragic hero must die. The first quality needed to be defined as a tragic hero is to be of noble birth. We know Macbeth has been of noble birth as from the beginning we know that he is third in line for the throne of Scotland. Kind Duncan also referrers to Macbeth as “O valiant cousin! Worthy gentleman!” suggesting that somewhere down the line Macbeth and the Royal family are related. Macbeth also possessed heroic qualities at the beginning of the play. The audience can be sure of this as King Duncan is told in Act One Scene two, how Macbeth heroically brought the Scottish army back from the verge of defeat and he is to thank for the marvellous defeat over the rebels. “For brave Macbeth, well he deserves that name.” So far we have heard the name of the Mysterious character Macbeth twice and at this point in the play the audience gullibly believe Macbeth is the true hero of the tragedy. A tragic hero is a person who is fated by the Gods or another supernatural force that brings upon great suffering. There is no questioning that Macbeth’s encounter with the supernatural force brought upon himself great suffering.

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