Tragic Heros In Shakespeare

Macbeth serves as an example of a tragic hero in Shakespeare s Macbeth. His tragic decision stems from the influence of a tragic flaw. Once he has made the decision, it is irreversible, and produces his downfall. In an attempt to save himself, the tragic hero tries to reverse his decision, but ultimately fails. The tragic hero must be neither villain nor a virtuous man but a character between these two extremes. A man who not eminently good and just, yet whose misfortune is brought about not by vice or depravity but by some error or human frailty.

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1st Paragraph:

Topic sentence: At the very beginning of the play, Macbeth and Banquo are returning to Scotland.

Won the war for Duncan.

Shows a noble virtue of Macbeth, a requirement of a tragic hero

Three witches appear and make prophecies about Macbeth and Banquo.

“All hail, Macbeth! Hail to thee, thane of Glamis! All hail, Macbeth! hail to thee, thane of Cawdor! All hail Macbeth that shalt be king hereafter!” (I,ii,48).

Ross enters tells Macbeth is thane of Cawdor now.

Macbeth is surprised. Prophecies coming true.

Duncan’s sons, would be the rightful heirs to the throne. Nowhere near the next in line to the throne

Closing sentence: Macbeth’s tragic flaw is that of ambition; Macbeth’s ambition will cause him to decline.

2nd Paragraph:

Topic Sentence: At this point, Lady Macbeth knows all about the witches prophecies.

Lady Macbeth wants to be Queen of Scotland, encourages Macbeth to get rid of Duncan.

After killing Duncan, Macbeth feels sorry for himself.

His ambition has caused him to kill a good friend and even worse, the King!

Macbeth brings dagger back. Lady Macbeth gets angry but Macbeth says:

“I’ll go no more; I am afraid to think what I have done; Look

on ‘t again I dare not.” (II,ii,51).

Lady Macbeth controls and tell him:

“…a little water clears us of this deed.” (II,ii,67)

Macbeth becomes satisfied with what he has done

especially after Malcolm and Macduff leaves Scotland.

The third prophecy has come true; Macbeth is King of Scotland!

Macbeth wants Banquo and his son dead because of the

witches’ prophecy that Banquo’s sons will become Kings. He hires three

murderers to kill Banquo and his son Fleance.

Fleance escapes. Macbeth is outraged when he hears this. He says:

“Then comes my fit again; I had else been perfect, Whole as the marble, founded as the rock, As broad and general as the casing air. But now I am cabined, cribbed, confined, bound in To saucy doubts and fears. But Banquo’s safe? “(III,ii,21).

Macbeth sees the ghost of Banquo at the banquet. Macbeth says

“Which of you have done this?” and “Thou canst not say I did it; never shake thy gory locks at me.” (III,iv,48).

Lady Macbeth senses that something is definitely wrong and she asks everyone to leave immediately.

Macbeth is shown as a hubris character.

Closing Sentence: He was not afraid of the consequences of his actions although he knew very well what they would be. This is another tragic flaw.

3rd Paragraph:

Topic Sentence: Macbeth is worried and goes to meet the witches.

First apparition: Macbeth! Macbeth! Macbeth! Beware Macduff; Beware the thane of Fife.

Second apparition: The power of man, for none of woman born shall harm Macbeth.

Third apparition: Macbeth shall never vanquish’d be until Great Birnam wood to high Dunsinane hill. Shall come against him.

Macbeth is scarred and says:

“Seize upon Fife; give to the edge o’ the sword. His wife, his babes, and all unfortunate souls.”(IV,I,151)

He is scared by the apparition’s prophecies and wants to kill anyone who comes in his way.

Macbeth thinks he has it made; that nothing can take his crown away from him now.

Birnam woods climb the hill in form of the Malcolm army.(Third prophecy comes true)

Macbeth is shown once again at the end of the play when Macduff challenges Macbeth to a fight.

Macbeth says he will not fight, so Macduff says:

“Then yield thee, coward…” (V, viii, 23).

Macbeth answers:

“I will not yield…” (V, viii, 28).

Macbeth finally realizes what he has done and how the witches prophecies and apparitions have all come true.

Fights back but is killed by Macduff. (Second and First prophecy comes true)

Closing Sentence: But he did not just give up like a coward. He fought like the great warrior he once was.


In conclusion, Macbeth was a noble, honest, authentic man. However, Macbeth, tragically followed the Witches’ philosophy in life, “fair is foul and foul is fair”. The constant fricative sound in this alliteration infers the bitter outlook the Witches have towards life; and henceforth creates the appearance that unless Macbeth changes, he will be damned to this embittered panorama, therefore he decides to change, following the witches prophecy that “thou shalt be king hereafter” . He decrees that he shall follow this prophecy and do anything to become the king. the prophecies given to him by the witches, Lady Macbeth’s influence and plan, and his intensified ambition, all contributed greatly to his degeneration of character which resulted to his downfall…death. Therefore Macbeth character displays strong signs of a tragic hero, making him the ideal classic example.

-Palash jain