Macbeth is a tragic hero because his relationships, supernatural beings, and his character cause him to proceed on the path of evil, thus leading to his downfall. To begin with, his relationship with Lady Macbeth caused Macbeth to become such an ambitious megalomaniac. She uses her manipulative skills to encourage Macbeth to commit the murder such as by attacking his manhood, transferring her cruelty to him, and making the murder seem like a courageous act. She knows that he’s too kind to commit such sinful acts so she has to add a little push.
“….Hie thee hither, That I may pour my spirits in thine ear And chastise with the valor of my tongue, All that impedes thee from the golden round.” ( Act I Scene V 25-28)
“When you durst do it, then you were a man; And to be more than what you were, you would Be so much more than the man…” ( Act I Scene VII 49-51)
“We will proceed no further in this business: He hath honored me of late, and I have bought Golden opinions from all sorts of people,…” ( Act I Scene VII 31-33)
Macbeth doesn’t want to go through with the murder because he’s loyal to the king, he’s scared, and he’d feel guilty if he committed it. This proves that Lady Macbeth was really the whole mastermind behind the murder of King Duncan and her ambition is what drove her to do this. The witches served as the supernatural beings who transformed such a noble and honorable man to an arrogant and violent one.
“All hail, Macbeth, thou shalt be king hereafter!…Thou shalt get kings, though thou be none. So all hail, Macbeth and Banquo!” ( Act I Scene III 50; 67-68)
The witches tempt Macbeth by speaking of him becoming a powerful king, which awakens his hidden ambition. He believed much of what the witches prophesied so he also became paranoid.
“…When first they put the name of King upon me, And bade them speak to him; them prophetlike They hailed him father to a line of kings…” (Act III, Scene I 58-60)
Macbeth’s lust for the power of the throne causes him to see his friend, Banquo as a threat so he has him and his son murdered by two assassins; however his son manages to escape. Macbeth was so greedy that he was willing to kill anyone to make sure he got what he wanted. “Be bloody, bold, and resolute! Laugh to scorn. The pow’r of man, for none of woman born shall harm Macbeth.” (Act IV, Scene I 79-81.) This prophecy ensures Macbeth of his safety from anything and anyone, thus causing him to not fear Macduff.
“Then live, Macduff: What need I fear of thee? But yet I’ll make assurance double sure, And take a bond of fate. Thou shalt not live;….” (Act IV Scene I 82-84)
Macbeth is fueled by his tragic flaws, pride and ambition, to commit most of his dark deeds. “Macbeth makes clear that ambition drives his actions. The motor that drives the tragedy of Shakespeare’s Macbeth is the lead character’s ambition.” (Jamieson, Lee, and Stratford-upon-Avon College. “Here Are the Best Macbeth Quotes About Ambition.” Thoughtco., Dotdash, 5 Feb. 2018, www.thoughtco.com/macbeth-ambition-quotes-2985024.)
“I have no spur, To prick the sides only, Vaulting ambition, which overlaps itself And falls on the other.” ( Act I, Scene VII 25-28). “My thought, whose murder yet is but fantastical, Shakes so my single state of man That function is smother’d in surmise, and nothing is but what is not.” ( Act I, Scene III 152-155)
“But the story of Macbeth is about much more than power. The true tragedy is of extreme pride, what the Greeks called hubris; a vice from which the powerful are most at risk.” ( Bamuturaki, Musinguzi. “The Tragedy of Hubris in Shakespeare’s ‘Macbeth’.” The East African, The East African, 5 Apr. 2013, www.theeastafrican.co.ke/magazine/The-tragedy-of-hubris-in–Shakespeare-Macbeth/434746-1739360-fbd713/index.html.)
“Why should I play the Roman fool, and die On mine own sword? While I see lives, the gashes Do better upon them.” ( Act V, Scene VIII 1-3). “I will not yield, To kiss the ground before young Malcolm’s feet, And to be baited with the rabble’s curse…” ( Act V, Scene VIII 25-30)