Is Macbeth A Tragic Hero

Calamities originated in antediluvian Greece where their chief intent was to advance wellness of the community through purge of emotions such as fright ( Aristotle ) . However, audiences of today ticker calamities strictly for amusement. Shakespeare wrote several calamities including one of his most celebrated, The Tragedy of Macbeth. Within the construct of a calamity is the tragic hero. Aristotle, an ancient Hellenic philosopher, defines a tragic hero as a individual who maintains a high place in society, embodies virtue, shows illustriousness but is non perfect, has a ruin that is non his ain mistake, has penalty that is greater than the offense, is cognizant of his errors in the terminal, and arouses grave emotions but removes the audience of them in the terminal ( Aristotle ) . Based on Aristotle ‘s theory, the chief character Macbeth in Shakespeare ‘s drama at first appears to be the tragic hero but by the terminal he is non.

However, a tragic hero must non merely be of high position, but he must besides “ embody aristocracy and virtuousness ” ( Aristotle ) . Despite the captain ‘s great descriptions of Macbeth as a brave warrior on the battleground, it does non take long for Macbeth ‘s true colourss to demo. As he departs from the battleground, Macbeth meets three enchantresss who give him three prognostications, one of which is that he will go male monarch ( 1.3.48-50 ) . Macbeth considers slaying King Duncan so that he may carry through these prognostications. As the drama progresses, Macbeth does travel through with the slaying of Duncan. To halt the fulfilment of his friend Banquo ‘s prognostication that his boies will go male monarch, Macbeth arranges the slayings of Banquo and Banquo ‘s boy ( 3.1.115-138 ) . He even goes every bit far to kill one of his Lords, Macduff ‘s married woman and kids in fright of their disloyalty to him ( 4.1.151-154 ) . Macbeth ‘s ability to transport out these Acts of the Apostless to keep his throne causes him to lose any virtue he may hold had.

Aristotle wants his tragic hero to be great but non perfect. The imperfectnesss will let the audience to associate to the hero. Macbeth is a great, brave warrior and thane. His aspiration to kill King Duncan in order to go male monarch himself and the slayings of his friends and guiltless adult females and kids show that he is far from perfect. By holding a defect Macbeth is brought down from his base to a place that the audience can associate to.

Macbeth ‘s aspiration to slay Duncan finally leads to his ruin. After killing Duncan, he begins killing anyone he believes may endanger his kingship. By making so, he makes enemies, one who finally murders him in conflict. With the enchantresss tampering in Macbeth ‘s life it is questionable whether he is to fault for his ain ruin or if he is under some enchantment ; nevertheless, it is confirmed that Macbeth is responsible for his ain actions when Hecate tells her enchantresss “ all you have done hath been but for a contrary boy ” ( 3.5.10-11 ) . By being responsible for his ain ruin, Macbeth meets another of Aristotle ‘s features of a tragic hero.

After all he has done, Macbeth is eventually taken down in conflict by a adult male whose household he has wholly destroyed. Harmonizing to Aristotle, a tragic hero ‘s penalty should be more than is deserved ; nevertheless, Macbeth ‘s penalty is good deserved for there could be no other terminal to his ruthless force except force itself. Macbeth says he has gone so far that he can non travel back, that he will ne’er halt ( 3.4.136-137 ) . The lone manner to reconstruct peace to the land is to take Macbeth.

Amidst all this Macbeth ne’er additions any self-awareness or cognition. A tragic hero should non endure a complete loss, yet Macbeth remains merely every bit chesty as he ever was. As Macbeth meets his liquidator he taunts him with the enchantresss prognostications until he realizes Macduff is above the prognostications and able to get the better of him. Yet, Macbeth still refuses “ to snog the land before immature Malcolm ‘s pess ” ( 5.8.29 ) . Macbeth is so caught up in keeping his place he can non see the devastation he has caused and would instead decease than step down for the improvement of his people.

As the drama comes to a stopping point, Aristotle states the audience should be purged of any unhealthy emotions such as commiseration or fright evoked throughout the drama. Macbeth ‘s awful reign does stir up commiseration and fright in the audience. It brings about commiseration for Macbeth ‘s people because they must cover with Macbeth ‘s brutal, pitiless force. It arouses fright in the audience that one twenty-four hours such a swayer could one twenty-four hours be over them. However, in the terminal those emotions are gone when Macbeth is murdered and the rightful inheritor is restored to the throne. One can merely trust things will acquire better from here.

At first expression Macbeth seems to be the tragic hero of Shakespeare ‘s The Tragedy of Macbeth. Macbeth does keep a high place in society as a brave warrior and thane. He seems great but it is shortly noticeable that he is non perfect since he possesses the ability to slay his male monarch and anyone else who may acquire in his manner. His ruin is his ain mistake and his tragic terminal purges the audience of any negative emotions once the rightful inheritor is restored to the throne. Despite these features, there are other traits of a tragic hero in Aristotle ‘s theory which Macbeth does non possess. One facet in which he falls short is Aristotle ‘s thought that the hero ‘s penalty should “ transcend the offense ” ( Aristotle ) . Macbeth ‘s penalty, nevertheless, is deserved of his offense since there can be no other terminal. Aristotle besides states a tragic hero should non confront a complete loss ; nevertheless, Macbeth ne’er learns anything from his errors. The hero should besides be virtuous, but Macbeth does non possess any virtuousnesss. He murders his friends and guiltless adult females and kids all to keep his throne. For a character to be considered an Aristotelean tragic hero he must possess all features of Aristotle ‘s theory. Macbeth possesses some of these features but non others ; hence, he can non be considered the Aristotelean tragic hero of Shakespeare ‘s drama.

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