How successful is Shakespeares presentation of Macbeth Essay

Published: 2020-04-22 15:24:05
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In order to make a precise conclusion on how successful Shakespeare is on making Macbeth a tragic hero, the great speeches and monologues by Macbeth must be analyzed. Also the audience or reader must have to understand what makes a person a tragic hero. Obviously there must be certain conditions that the tragic hero has to fulfill. These will be discussed.

Macbeth has them and I will try to give evidence to back up my points.

To start with the character must be of noble birth, Macbeth is of noble birth and this is a fact as he is born the Thane of Glamis. Secondly the tragic hero must be of high moral worth as if he isnt the audience cant admire him so he wouldnt be heroic therefore he wouldnt be a tragic hero. Macbeth is of high moral worth as one of the first times in the play when Macbeth is seen as a hero is after the great battle at the beginning. Everyone is praising him, including the king. The king, as a reward for his heroic actions, makes Macbeth Thane of Cawdor as the last Thane of Cawdor was found guilty of treason and was be-headed! The main thing that makes the audience respect Macbeth (helping us to see him as a tragic hero in the end) is when the sergeant reporting on the battle praises Macbeth calling him brave Macbeth, so we see that even from the beginning of the play Macbeth is seen as brave and people respect him.

When Macbeth meets the king towards the beginning of the play the king has only nice things to say about Macbeth and clearly respects him as he call him his valiant cousin and a worthy gentleman. Because the king is obviously noble we trust his opinion of Macbeth so then we too share his high opinion of him. We know the King thinks this as he represents his feelings when he says to Macbeth more is due than more all can pay. Here Duncan is saying that Macbeth means a lot to him and the country. As the king is so proud of him hen trusts him more and naturally is more willing to give him things and help him become more successful throughout his reign as king.

The kings whole idea of Macbeth shows him as a hero, which is often shown so frequently at the beginning of the play. This whole idea of Macbeth being a hero at the beginning of the play is very common in tragic heroes as always at the beginning they are brave and heroic, but then they go tragic things/or bad things, which makes them tragic heroes.

Another thing that a tragic hero must posses is a flaw in their character. In Macbeth his flaw could be seen as being his ambition (to be king) or him not thinking about the consequences of his actions, but personally I feel his flaw was ambition. I feel that this flaw was mainly the fault of the witches as after they told him he would become thane of Cawdor he did and they also told him he would become king so he proberly believed he would and as it was possible he would do anything to make himself king.

At the beginning of the play Macbeth has feelings, but he knows that after talking to the witches he gets bad, evil thoughts as he says, stars, hide your fires! Let not light see my black and deep desires, basically saying that he knows that he has desires which are very bad and which no one should knows about. This helps us think of him as a tragic hero as he is still aware of what is good and bad. I think Macbeths dark thoughts almost eat up his goodness and his sense of what is right, leaving Macbeth as a cold man, a murderer.

After the murder of Duncan, by Macbeth, we yet again are reminded how he could be a tragic hero. Tragic heroes must not be totally senseless and Macbeth isnt as straight after the killing of Duncan we here him say to Lady Macbeth how he is afraid to think of what he had done and how he wishes he could wake Duncan but he cant. He also says how to look on it again he dare not. This shows us how he isnt totally cold-hearted and that he knows that it was wrong.

A main reason why Macbeth turns into a cold man, a tragic man, is Lady Macbeth. Lady Macbeth is like a catalyst in the play. She works on Macbeths black and deep desires, which are to kill, as she is almost power hungry and wants to be queen, and she makes them real life, making him kill people. The things that causes him to change his mind about committing the murder are the speeches that Lady Macbeth gave him

Does un-make you. I have given suck, and know how tender tis to love the babe that milks me: I would, while it was smiling in my face, have

pluckd my nipple from his boneless gums, and dashd the brains out, had I sworn as you have done this.

We see a lot in this scene how Lady Macbeth uses emotional blackmail and, how she attacks his manliness to get him to carry out the murder of Banquo. She starts off by saying to him Art though afeard to be the same in thine own act and valour as thou art in desire? Here she is basically saying is he too afraid to match his desires with his courage, and this contrast between action and desire is frequent in the play. She also uses the love he has for her to try and make him carry out the killings. The worst thing she does is when she attacks his manliness, as Macbeth is a great valiant soldier and to be called a coward by his wife must have really driven him to carry out the murder. Also she uses an old proverb as she says he is like the poor cat I th adage. Here she means he is like the cat that wanted to eat the fish but would not wet his feet. She is saying he wants, deep down, to kill them but he doesnt want to have to do the dirty work.

These speeches shows her sheer evilness and how ashamed she is that her husband is prepared to go back on what they had agreed, and the fact that this kind of manipulation works on him is tragic!

For a character to be a tragic hero the audience have to feel sorry for them and sympathise with them. The audience also has to try and understand why he did what he did. I feel that the main reason Macbeth did what he did was because of the witches. The first way in which Shakespeare shows the witches to be plain evil is in the very first scene in the book where they all chant together fair is foul, and foul is fair. This is a word play and has an inverted meaning to that of a human. They are saying that their fair is our foul and our foul is their fair, inverted morals, meaning everything we find bad they find good.

I feel the witches are almost totally to blame for Macbeth turning almost evil. The witches told Macbeth he could become a king one day, this was the greatest thing anyone could imagine. They also told him that no man born of woman could kill him, so Macbeth thought he wouldnt be killed by any person, that he would die naturally or something like that. 43Macbeth should have known better as Macduff was born by caesarian birth.

I feel this was one of Macbeths main problems I feel that instead of trusting his friends and those close to him he trusted the witches too much and took everything literally, he didnt think about their evilness and in the end with Macbeths sight so clouded from wanting to be king and believing everything the witches said to be perfectly true he ended up dead. This was one of his flaws; he trusted the witches too much and didnt think about them playing games and being evil. This is why we feel sorry for Macbeth and view him as being tragic as it was almost as if he was victimized by the witches and they took advantage of him and played games with him.

Macbeth had some hard and cruel, cold blooded times. For example when he arranged for the deaths of Banquo and Macduffs family, he ordered other people to do it as well which, firstly showed he was a coward and wouldnt go through with the killings totally himself he needed other people to be involved. At these times though Macbeth hadnt really any of his senses. At these times I think his black and deep desires led him. I think he is aware though that his senses are a bit off as earlier when he thought he saw the dagger appeared to turn towards Duncans bedroom he questioned his senses as he said:

Mine eyes are made the fools o th other senses,

Or else worth all the rest. I see thee still.

Here Macbeth is saying how his eyes are deceiving him if his other senses are correct, or else they see correctly and are more reliable than the rest of his senses together.

For a character to be seen as a tragic hero he must also gain moral worth through his suffering. In act five we see Lady Macbeth realizing what she has done. She says how hell is murky This shows she is aware that what she has done is wrong and that she is going to hell. We actually start to feel sorry for Lady Macbeth here as all the time she has been there for Macbeth when he had doubts and things but she never had anyone for her. But for Macbeth it act five scene three where he gains self worth and realizes what he has done, but now he is more scared and we feel sorry for him as he is losing self-control. In his speeches on page one eight five we see Macbeth full of regret and despair, he talks about having nothing to live for and he thought that being king would make him happy but it didnt.

Here the audience sees Macbeth trying to reassure himself, as he says, Fear not Macbeth, no man thats born of woman Shall eer have power upon thee. Here we can detect a very insecure Macbeth. It is almost as if he has to reassure himself that no man can hurt him, but you can also detect how scared he is. Also when he says I have lived long enough. My way of life Is fallen into the sear, the yellow leaf: This makes us think he has had enough of being king and now just wants to die and has nothing to live for. He says his way of life has fallen into the sear, this means his way of life has almost withered faded away. In this scene the audience are made to sympathize with Macbeth. So he appears yet again tragic. He is nowhere near the strong brave noble fighter we were introduced to at the beginning of the book.

In Act five Macbeth makes a speech once again. In this speech we see Macbeth becoming self-aware. He realizes that his senses have been dulled as after Seyton hears a sound of a woman cry he asks Macbeth whether it was a woman cry and Macbeth replies saying how he had almost forgotten the taste of fears. By this he meant that the desolate eeriness of the cry reminded him of former fears that he had. We also se Macbeth realising that the after life is important whereas earlier he said he would jump the life to come. We also see, later on in scene eight, an indication of Macbeth feeling guilty about killing Macduffs family.

When Macbeth and Macduff meet, Macbeth says how his soul is too much charged with blood of thine (Macduff) already. Here he means that he feels guilty after killing his family as he says how his soul is too much charged, meaning he feels bad in his soul because of what he had done. Towards the end of scene eight we see the return of the brave valiant fighter that was mentioned in the beginning. This reminds us and helps us see his more as a tragic hero, as we had almost forgotten that he had been noble, but this scene is a good reminder. Here we here Macbeth saying to Macduff how he will not yield and how he will throw his warlike shield he also says how he will try the last, meaning he will fight to a finish. This shows us the brave Macbeth who will not surrender.

In conclusion I feel that Shakespeares presentation of Macbeth as a tragic hero really worked. He fulfills all the necessary criteria that a tragic hero needs. We all respected him at the beginning felt sorry for him when he did bad things and C then knew that his death was inevitable, and that his death made everything return to normal and that there was no other outcome that could have been had for Macbeth. Shakespeare made a perfect tragic hero in my eyes and using the evidence and quotes I have given you the phrase tragic hero is a great way to sum up Macbeth in a few words for this play.

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