StudyBoss » William Shakespeare » Truly Tragic Shakespeare’s Macbeth

Truly Tragic Shakespeare’s Macbeth

Macbeth is the epitome of what the literary world regards as a “tragic hero”. His admirable qualities are supplanted with greed and hate when three witches dupe him. The three witches enter with the first scene from William Shakespeare’s, Macbeth, a tragic tale of one man’s quest for power that leads to his ultimate defeat. The story revolves around our tragic hero, Macbeth, and how an admirable and noble man, so established in society, can fall so greatly. Throughout the play, he is driven by an obsession to become King of Scotland, and in the process commits acts of betrayal and treachery to achieve this goal.

However, Macbeth is not the only character involved in this sordid affair. His wife, the manipulative Lady Macbeth, three prophetic witches and members of the Scottish aristocracy all play pivotal roles in the drama. Lady Macbeth, the great woman of influence behind the Macbeth, plots, schemes and propels her husband into a nightmare of falsehood and guilt. The witches, or weird sisters, (Shouldnt weird sisters be in quotes and cited? ) embody the supernatural element of this tragedy. With their imperfect predictions and calculated duplicity, they created chaos in Macbeth’s mind as they toy with his sense of security.

Be careful of matching tenses. Created is past tense and toy is present. ) The Scottish aristocracy comprises of King Duncan, the two princes – Malcolm and Donalbain, and various other thanes and nobles, including Macbeth’s friend Banquo. They all serve as barriers for Macbeth and, regardless of friend or foe, he chooses to either fall down or overcome these hurdles. However, one hurdle that proves too great is his nemesis: Macduff. After Macbeth’s false sense of security is shattered, a mighty swipe of Macduff’s sword releases Macbeth from a tangled web of desire, design and deceit.

What is your thesis? That Macbeth is the epitome of a tragic hero? Make sure you stick to your topic and dont get sidetracked. ) Macbeth has, as his wife says, the milk of human kindness, the kind of affection that many people have for others when self-interest is not rampant. He has a high regard for Duncan and Banquo, defaming the latter only once (III. i. 74 ff. ). He differs from Duncan in that the King’s charity is of a quality that works to transform human society into a family and that makes the spirit of Duncan persist through the play after his death.

Nevertheless, Macbeth shares in a somewhat limited way in the moral nature of manhood as seen in I. vii. 46-47, without wanting to contract himself at the urgings of his wife into a paragon of energy, energy simply devoted to utterly selfish ends. Macbeth thus differs from Macduff, who more fully realizes both the valorous and moral nature of manhood, and from Richard III, who is a melodramatic villain and indeed a scourge of God. (Consider breaking up this sentence to make it more comprehensible. Your reader may get lost in remember whos who and whos not. ) Macbeth, unlike Richard, is not completely hardened at the end of the play.

He exhibits remorse immediately after the murder of Duncan, and he repeatedly displays anguish after commission of his atrocities. In proposing the savage murder of Macduff’s family, he (Macbeth? ) speaks of these “unfortunate” souls (IV. i. 152) without attaching irony or sadism to this adjective. The passage “I have lived long enough” (V. iii. 22-28) is not, in its apprehension of the failure of a life, the utterance of a thorough reprobate like Richard; and “poor heart” (V. iii. 28) is analogous to “unfortunate souls. ” (Citation? Also, try reworking this sentence.

See if you can get rid of an of and be more precise with wording all around. ) Macbeth, unlike Richard, is self-tortured and thus wins (Typically, I, we, you, or us is not used in a scholarly essay, but it depends on the writers approach and audience. Discuss this with your teacher. ) a degree of sympathy from the audience. Macbeth is utterly free from Richard’s savage humor as seen, for example, in his jesting about sending Clarence to Heaven post-post-haste. Unlike Iago, Macbeth is unequipped with a philosophy of egoism. (You havent mentioned Iago before. Dont assume your audience is learned in Shakespeare.

They may have read Macbeth without reading Othello. ) Unlike Lady Macbeth, he does not pray to have his nature altered. He makes no formal compact, as Faustus does, with the Devil. He never chastises his wife for her failure to bear sons though his ambition is dynastic rather than personal, and even though, whatever Renaissance medical theory may have taught, royal practice as observable in the reign of Henry VIII held the wife rather than the husband to blame for lack of issue. (Extremely long sentences lose your reader. Either break this up into two smaller sentences or work in a semi-colon.

Again, be wary of being concise and precise. Also, if youre comparing a play with a play, then you need to say so. Your audience may not necessarily be knowledgeable in all of Shakespeares plays. ) There is slight evidence that Macbeth uses Lady Macbeth not to form his murderous intent toward Duncan, but to receive courage and practical insight into the way this piece of regicide may be committed. Macbeth vacillates before the murder of Duncan (I. vii. 1ff. ), he experiences hallucinations that precede (II. i. 33-35) and follow (II. ii. 35-36) the murder; he is unable to answer “amen” to “God bless us” (II. . 23 ff. ); he feels remorse in II. ii. 60 ff. ; and his later savagery suggests the utter subversion of his nature. (Review the use of the semi-colon vs. the comma.

Your usage here seems questionable. You may be trying to use the semi-colon to emphasis how these statements are connected, but it seems that some explanation is needed. ) Macbeth is not sufficiently cultivated in good or evil to muster poise for all occasions: (Why use a colon here? ) thus he experiences difficulty in sleeping; he uses rhetoric badly in the presence of others when disturbed (I. iv) and even resorts to improbability (e. , I. iii. 149-150); he cannot reproduce imperial dignity and the graces of kingship as Claudius, Hamlet’s stepfather, manages to do.

So Macbeth must act, and remains the onset of madness, acquiring firmness of purpose in the wrong road. Even his soliloquies, notable for magniloquence and phantasmagoria, and marked by voluptuous word-painting, show more stages of his corruption than causes – the need for action to cover his lack of poise in awaiting developments and the need to stifle the moral imagination that enables him to foresee the consequences of his actions.

Cite This Work

To export a reference to this article please select a referencing style below:

Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.

Leave a Comment