Macbeth: The Tragic Hero In Shakespeare's Macbeth

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Macbeth is a tragic hero in the Shakespearean tradition. This means that he must, of his own free will, give in to a fatal flaw in his character and precipitate his own downfall. In the case of Macbeth, the flaw is ambition, and the irrevocable decision he makes is to kill Duncan, the king of Scotland, and take his throne. This sets him on a downward trajectory that sees him lose control of his actions, the support of his peers, his wife and ultimately his own life. Over the course of his decline, we also see Scotland suffer terribly. This is connected to the medieval belief that the fate of the country was tied closely to that of its king. When the true king was killed and a usurper crowned, the country reacted violently, sinking into darkness and unnatural weather.…show more content…
Scotland is under attack, but he leads the charge against the various invaders and secures decisive victories for the army. The captain who reports to Duncan on the progress of the battles is fulsome in his praise: “Brave Macbeth – well he deserves that name.” Duncan is in full agreement, and calls Macbeth ‘worthy’. He plans to bestow additional honours on Macbeth in gratitude for all he has done to ensure the safety of the country. However, we in the audience are already aware that events will not run as smoothly as Duncan seems to hope. The witches, introduced in the very first scene, are waiting to meet Macbeth, “when the battle’s lost and won”. Paradoxical and contradictory language like this alerts us that deception will be evident throughout the play, and things will not be as they

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