One might choose to assent to the statement, “Macbeth is a tragic hero. “This conclusion may be based upon certain characteristics , proposed byAristotle, that warrants him worthy of such a title.
Aristotle stated that atragic hero must be of certain qualities: a man of noble stature, good, thoughnot perfect, have a fall that results from committing an act of injustice, whichis his own fault, and receive a punishment that exceeds the crime. A tragic hero is one of noble stature, and is good. Macbeth is known asthe Thane of Cawdor. He receives this honor because he has just returned from amilitary success that has covered him in glory. Macbeth can be considered”good” at the start of the work.
He is good, although he is not perfect. He hasa good heart and is in a keen state of mind before he hears the witches’prophecy. Macbeth does not begin to become evil until he is convinced to act onthe prophecy by Lady Macbeth. Lady Macbeth is the evil one who poisonsMacbeth’s mind; although, she is only encouraging her husband to do what shefeels is in his best interest. The hero’s downfall is his own fault, the result of his own free choice,not the result of an accident or fate. An accident and/or fate may be acontributing factor in the hero’s downfall, but are not alone responsible.
Macbeth’s downfall is entirely his fault. He chose to listen to the witches’prophecy. Banquo heard the same prophecy, but chose not to allow himself to beduped. Macbeth could have done the same thing.
He, instead, chose to acceptthe prophecy and act upon it. Macbeth spends most of the play in moralindecision. Lady Macbeth encourages him, but it is he that chooses his actions. A tragic hero’s misfortune is not wholly deserved.
The punishmentexceeds the crime. Macbeth does not totally deserve to die as a result of theseincidents. He begins the work as a good man, but later declines because of thedesires of his wife, and bad choices. Macbeth does not want to kill anyone, butdoes it.
He is a person of greatness, but is also of weakness. In thebeginning he is “better than ourselves. ” Macbeth’s death may not be considereda total loss because knowledge is gained before he dies. Aristotle says thatthere is some “discovery”, a change from ignorance to knowledge.
In conclusion, Macbeth can be described as “tragic hero” because hepossesses the characteristics that are required by Aristotle. Macbeth is ofnobility, is good, though not perfect, experiences a downfall that is his ownfault, has a misfortune that is now wholly deserved, and receives a punishmentthat exceeds the crime.Category: English