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Macbeth, in the play Macbeth by William Shakespeare, is an example of a tragichero. A tragedy is drama that has a hero with a flaw that causes his downfall and givesthe audience a feeling of catharsis. Macbeth’s character degenerates from a noble man toa violent person because of the witches’ prophecies, Lady Macbeth, and Macbeth’s ownambition. His ambition is the tragic flaw. At the beginning of the play, Macbeth is a noble man who is described as the “brave Macbeth”(I:ii:18) by the Sergeant and “valiant cousin” and “worthygentleman”(I:ii:26) by Duncan, the king, for slaying a rebel. Macbeth respects the kingand would not even think of doing anything to harm him, that is, until the witches getinvolved and his wife convinces him to. Macbeth loves his wife and he would kill for her,literally. She is a manipulative woman who takes advantage of Macbeth and could makehim do anything like killing the king, towards whom he feels no malevolence. When Macbeth and Banquo meet the witches, they give Macbeth two prophecies:he becomes thane of Cawdor and he becomes king. At first, Macbeth is a bit curiouswhen the first prophecy comes true but he does not really want to do anything about the

second one. Once he tells his wife about it, she makes Macbeth think about killing theking. His ambition, at first, is not strong enough, but Lady Macbeth pushes him further.He then kills the king and his character starts to degenerate from that point. Later in the play, Macbeth kills many people. After the first murder, killing othersbecomes easier for him. He hires murderers to kill Banquo and Macduff’s family withoutthinking about it twice and without the help of his wife. When his wife dies, he seems tooinvolved with war to care. This shows that Macbeth’s conscience is gone and that he isdesensitized to murder and death. Macbeth’s character is mentally weak and is misguided by his ambition. Hecannot make decisions on his own so he counts on other people to make decisions forhim like his wife and the witches. His ambition and other things cause the change of hischaracter. That ambition is the tragic flaw in that causes Macbeth’s downfall and makeshim an example of a tragic hero in this play. Other things also add to this change, like hiswife who seems mentally stronger than Macbeth. It is also Macbeth s ambition and histrust in the witches which ultimately change him for the worse and bring about hisdownfall.


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