Sunday, April 15, 2012

Macbeth as a Tragic Hero (2)

First of all, Macbeth is a tragedy of character who sometimes acts like a tragic hero and other acts like a villain. The "tragic hero" mainly means or indicates a great figure and warrior of the country who has many admirable qualities, but there are some defects of his character which lead him to his downfall at the end of the play. That is why there are two different opinions about either Macbeth is a villain or a tragic hero.

On the one hand, the first view believes that Macbeth is a villain by nature. He has already criminal impulses that resonant to the witches' words. His first soliloquy reflects his loyalty and nobility because of his hesitation but after the announcement of Malcolm as the successor his mind changes. He betrays all noble principles and codes of chivalry. He moves deeper and deeper into sin and crime after Duncan's murder. He becomes a king full of suspicions and feelings of insecurity. As a result, he depends on the witches' prophecies which give him a false sense of security. 

On the other hand, the second view affirms that Macbeth is good by nature. At the very beginning of the play, the audience is introduced to Macbeth's courage, loyalty and nobility. He is a brave soldier who defends his country gains the traitors. The King calls him " a fearless kinsman" and other characters call him "honourable" and "noble". Macbeth's over-ambition and superstitious personality are his tragic flaw. He wants to be a king whatever the means are. He is also strongly affected by the witches whom he seeks to meet. He does not have the innate evil needed to commit the murder.

Because of his over-ambition, Macbeth suffers from an inner conflict between nobility and ambition. He is completely aware that murdering the King is a horrible act, so he decides not to perform it, but by the role of his wife and the witches' power of suggestion he commits. He cannot believe that he has done such a deed; his conscience torrents him and gets full of remorse. The audience feels as if Macbeth has been absent minded when he has committed the crime. Macbeth's downfall at the end of the play confirms how he is a tragic-hero.

Macbeth refuses to escape from Malcolm's army and decides to fight bitterly. Before his death, he confirms that he has lost everything. He has no longer any friend and becomes isolated. In conclusion, Shakespeare in Macbeth balances between Macbeth's evil side and good one. As mentioned before, Macbeth is a tragic-hero whose defects of character leads to his tragic downfall at the end of the play and he is a human and the human is err.    

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