Josh Foreman Friday, November 21st, 2008
When Tragedy Strikes
Ambition, rashness, acting without an impulse; these are the classically defined characteristics that describe the traditional Shakespearean tragic hero. In William Shakespeare’s play, Macbeth, the stories main character Macbeth is the perfect example for portraying these unrewarding qualities in being a tragic hero. This specific character, just like any tragic hero starts off on a positive, affirmative level but slowly, once their tragic flaws catch up with them, start to diminish and break down into something so low that they can not control it. Macbeth in comparison to that starts off as a loyal ...view middle of the document...
That fatal flaw was the upbringing of his “destruction”. The ambition leads Macbeth to a single mindedness attitude and insinuates his ideas to confusion and uncertainty. His main concern after hearing the prophecies and consulting with his wife is to kill Duncan, so he will get the chance to take his spot as the next king. The weakness in his character is that he will go to extreme measures like this to accommodate his ambition. After brutally killing Duncan and eventually becoming king, Macbeth then uses his power along the way to also kill Macduff’s family, the two murderers and even his close friend Banquo after his son Fleance had escaped;
So he is mine, and in such bloody distance that every minute of his being thrusts against my near’st of life; and though I could with barefac’d power sweep him from my sight and bid my will avouch it, yet I must not, for certain friends that are both his and mine, whose loves I may not drop, but wail his fall who I myself struck down… It is concluded. Banquo, thy souls flight, if it find heaven, must find it out tonight (III. i. 118-125, 143-144).
The craziness and recklessness of Macbeth’s ambition had even forced him to kill someone who he abided as a friend and fought along side in the war against England, not so long ago. His mind had gone out of control, which made him make some dreadfully poor decisions.
Macbeth’s character, from the beginning of the play and towards the end of the play has seen his attitude change from noble and sympathetic to nasty and wicked. From that, it seems that his eventual death was plausibly appropriate. Macbeth did ultimately deserve to die considering all of the horrible deeds he committed, and died at a significant moment of the play. His death also brought the quality of sacrifice. Macbeth as the tragic hero was fittingly sacrificed at the end of the play because it was needed to make right the evil arising out of his ambitious tragic flaw. One of the prophecies that the witches told Macbeth was that no one born naturally out of a women could harm him. In the final scene when he is about to square off against Macduff, he immediately refers to that prophecy as he thinks Macduff is a natural born and is of no danger to him. But when Macbeth mentions that to him as they are about to fight, Macduff boasts that he is not a natural born but was actually cut out of his mothers womb before he could be declared natural. He was lured into a false sense of security by the witches as he brought in this arrogance that nothing could “touch him”. His tragic flaw of ambition caused him to rely on the prophecies too much and in the end came back to bite him. Right then and there, when he hears that from Macduff, he realizes that the security blanket he...