Macbeth Tragedy Essay, Research Paper
In order for a story to be considered a tragedy, it has to fit a certain
description. The Greek playwright Aristotle was the first to define a tragedy.
He said it was a story in which the protagonist (tragic hero) goes from
fortunate to unfortunate circumstances because if his tragic flaw and fate
working together. Macbeth fits these characteristics, and is a tragedy. In this
play, the tragic hero is Macbeth. His tragic flaw is his weak morals, and his
ability to be easily persuaded. These two things help to bring him down in many
respects. First of all, he killed Duncan. Now, he would not have killed Duncan
if his wife had not persuaded him. But, because of his tragic flaw, he was
easily persuaded into killing the king. ?When you durst do it, then you were a
man; and to be more than what you were, you would be so much more the man.?
Lady Macbeth questions Macbeth?s manhood, and because his morals are not
strong, he succumbs to it. This is an instance of Macbeth?s tragic flaw
working to bring him down, because immediately after he kills the king, he feels
awful. Also, when Macbeth?s morals begin to degenerate more, he kills Banquo,
and Lady Mcduff. These are definite signs of Macbeth?s tragic flaw operating
to bring him down. Another aspect of Macbeth that resembles a tragedy is fate
operating to bring the tragic hero down. In this play, Macbeth is given his fate
by the witches (that he is to become king), and immediately afterwards he is
appointed the Thane of Cawdor, and is next in line to become king. ?And for an
earnest of a greater honor, he bade me, from him, call the Thane of Cawdor, in
which addition, hail most worthy thane, for it is thane? When Ross tells
Macbeth that he is the thane, Macbeth is amazed. It seems too good to be true.
After that, Duncan tells him that he will be staying at Macbeth?s house,
giving him a perfect opportunity to kill him. Everything works out for Macbeth
to kill Duncan, and this is how fate works to bring Macbeth down. Sure, even if
all this happened, Macbeth would still have to be willing to kill the king, but
if Macbeth were willing, and he wasn?t given ample opportunity, it still
probably wouldn?t happen. So you see that it is necessary for the tragic flaw
and fate to work together to bring down the tragic hero. The third
characteristic of a tragedy that Macbeth shows is the tragic downfall. It is
where the tragic hero goes from fortunate to unfortunate circumstances. It is
what fate and the flaw is accomplishing by bringing the hero down. In this play,
Macbeth starts out a war hero, the people love him, he has friends, and he gets
along with the king and the other nobles. After his flaw and fate bring him
down, after he kills Duncan, and becomes king, he ends up very miserably. His
people hate him, he is considered a tyrant, and countries want to go to war with
him. He eventually gets what he had coming, and Mcduff cuts his head off. With
Macbeth?s head on his sword, Mcduff exclaims, ?Hail, King! For so thou art.
Behold where stands TH? usurper?s curs?d head. The time is free.?
Clearly, going from being a well-respected war hero to a headless tyrant is a
downfall, so this characteristic is one that Macbeth certainly has. The story of
Macbeth is one that is regarded as one of the most famous pieces of literature
of all time, but some feel that it is not a tragedy. After reading this, one can
clearly see how Macbeth fits the characteristics of a tragedy. The tragic
hero?s flaw is evident, fate clearly works to bring him down as well, and
there is no doubt that he does not experience a downfall. These characteristics
are what make Macbeth, and other stories, a tragedy.