In the play Macbeth by William Shakespeare, we discover
that Macbeth is a tragic hero. Macbeth is very ambitious,
courageous, and a moral coward: all these things lead to
his tragic death at the end of the play.
At the beginning of the play, Shakespeare portrays Macbeth
as a hero, loyal to the king and fighting for Scotland;
however, he is also very ambitious and power hungry. While
he did think of murder, his mind rejects it and he says,
"Why, if fate will have me king, why, chance may crown me,"
- Act I, Sc 3, p.44-45.
Increasingly, his ambition defeated his rational nature.
When Duncan named Malcolm the Prince of Cumberland, Macbeth
decided to murder him out of revenge. When Duncan arrived
at Inverness, Macbeth controlled his ambition, for the time
being, and did not kill him. The failing of his decision
was soon verbalized by Lady Macbeth who called him a
coward. This led him to commit the heinous act.
From then on, after the murder of Duncan, Macbeth entered
into a life of evil and committed several other atrocities.
In order to assure that he would be king, he killed
Banquo, because the witches had predicted that Banquo's son
would be king.
Macbeth, who now no longer needed any encouragement from
Lady Macbeth, started to leave her in ignorance of his
plans. Near the end of the play, Lady Macbeth sleepwalked
and had a dream about the killing of Duncan and Banquo. She
died because of all this pressure and her guilt about the
murder. Soul of Macbeth has been destroyed since Macbeth
loved Lady Macbeth very much, as shown in Act I, Sc. 5,
p.58, "My Dearest Love."
The power of nemesis is shown clearly at the end of the
play when Macduff comes back to murder Macbeth. Macbeth
would never have guessed that Macduff would come back for
revenge for the killing in Macduff's household. This
nemesis shows an additional force beyond Macbeth's control.
Because of Macbeth's strong beliefs in ambition and the
witches, when he found out Macduff was not born of woman,
and also found out that Birnam Wood had been seen moving,
he realized that the third apparition had deceived him and
he understood he was no longer safe.
Through the development of this tragedy, Macbeth has turned
from a good natured person to an evil person. His ambition,
strong belief in the witches, has brought him to a tragic
end, and caused many people to lose their lives.
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