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Macbeth a Tragic Hero

  • Date Submitted: 12/09/2012 04:13 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 53.4 
  • Words: 332
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To the average person, when someone high in society whit so many virtuous qualities makes a bad decision that leads to their downfall, people are fascinated and intrigued. The archetype of a tragic hero has been used for thousands of years by many writers; the character falls from a high position in society; he has many virtues but one major vice, which in the end will be the cause of his downfall and ultimate death. The archetype is used to remind readers if someone high in power can suffer such a tragedy so can a regular person. In William Shakespeare's classic play Macbeth, the leading character exemplifies the characteristics of a tragic hero. In 11th century Scottish society, Macbeth is high ranking and very close with the King of Scotland, Macbeth has many virtues but also a major vice, he reconizes this in the end but it is too late, Macbeth has been defeated by his people. Macbeth, Thane of Glamis, climbs higher and higher into power when he is promoted after a harsh battle.
After winning a battle against two countries with one being Norway, Macbeth, the Thane of Glamis won the respect of the King through his act done in the war. Macbeth is promoted to Thane of Cawdor for his contributions to the war. In a conversation between the Captain and the King, the Captain says,
For brave Macbeth- well he deserves that name-
Disdaining Fortune, with his brandished steel,
Which smoked with bloody execution,
...
Till he unseamed him from the nave to the chops,
And fixed his head upon our battlements. (1.2.16)

The Captain is talking highly to the King about Macbeth's success in battle, he is saying   that Macbeth well deserves a promotion from Thane of Glamis. The fact that both the King and Captain are talking about Macbeth, illustrates his current position in society is already lofty, but he still climbing according to the Captain's foreshadowing   about his promotion to Thane of Cawdor.

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