Author: AlysonSerenaStone PM
By definition, Macbeth is a tragedy. An essay on Macbeth.Rated: Fiction T - English - Drama/Tragedy - Words: 597 - Reviews: 2 - Published: 06-06-11 - Status: Complete - id: 2921499
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By definition, Macbeth is a tragedy. A tragedy is defined as a literary work in which the protagonist and the main character on who which the action centers in a play and is opposite the antagonist or enemy meets an unhappy or disastrous end. Macbeth, who is the protagonist, meets his end by the antagonist, Lady Macbeth. Although Lady Macbeth does cause Macbeth to be "brought down", she alone is not responsible. She only pushes him to do one murder; the rest of the murders were done on his own. In the end, what brought Macbeth down was his own desires and placing a lot of faith in three bizarre women.
Macbeth also serves as the play's tragic hero. He has physical and mental strength on the battlefield, but on the personal levels this courage changes. On the personal level his strengths becomes his weaknesses. His tragic flaw is that he "cracks" under pressure. When pressured he will tell everything he knows. Lady Macbeth is aware of this flaw. For example, in Act Three, Scene Four, when the ghost of Banquo enters and sits in Macbeth's place, Macbeth goes insane. He begins blaring at the ghost that only he could see. Lady Macbeth intervenes by saying, "I pray you speak not, he grows worse and worse. Question enrages him. At once, good night. Stand not upon the order of your going, but go at once." She is trying to get the guests to leave before he confesses to the murders. At this time she is unaware of Banquo's murder, but by the time the evening is over, she knows who eradicated Banquo. Another time when Lady Macbeth had to prevent her husband from fissuring was after the murder of Duncan in Act Two, Scene Three. This time instead of making everyone leave, she faints and has to be carried out of the room.
The fates play a large part in this tragedy. The most memorable line in the play occurs in Act One, Scene One with the three witches or "weird sisters", with the adage "Fair is foul, and foul is fair." This can also mean the clique "what's right is wrong and what's wrong it right." Both of these axioms mean that there is going to be a switch in power. Macbeth, who was powerful in the commencement of the play, loses power and control as it progresses. The witches serve as a symbol of the fates. Through the use of prophecies, the witches "set up" Macbeth, because they know of his aspiration to become king. They used Macbeth like a toy.
Throughout the play there are many conflicts both internal and external. These conflicts include the interests of Scotland, which was represented by Macduff and Malcolm; Macbeth's internal battle with ambition and his sense of right and wrong; the murders' evil is represented by Lady Macbeth. Before Duncan was even murdered, Macbeth begins to worry and wants to end the plan, but Lady Macbeth bullies him into containing. However, none of these conflicts serve as Macbeth's final downfall. His final downfall is his confidence and trust in the witches' prophecies.
Macbeth is unlike Shakespeare's other tragic heroes. He doesn't consider suicide; instead, he says, "Why should I play the Roman fool and die on mine own sword." This is an allusion to The Tragedy of Julius Caesar. Instead, Macbeth chooses to die on the battlefield. The play opens with Macbeth winning on the battlefield and closes with him losing on the very same field.