Tragedy (n.): a dramatic composition, often in verse, dealing with a serious or somber theme, typically that of a great person destined through a flaw of character or conflict with some overpowering force, as fate or society, to downfall or destruction.
Is Macbeth a tragic figure?
You can easily see how he isn't one. Yet you can also see that he is.
Which one is he? Which term describes him more accurately?
Your response to "Is Macbeth a tragic figure?" will hinge on a variety of factors - your personal definition of tragedy as it compares to the "dictionary definition" of the term, your emotional and logical responses to Macbeth's actions, your connection to the character, your degree of sympathy or empathy, your understanding of his motives and his character, your comprehension of the various relationships Macbeth establishes (and the deceit he arranges soon after becoming king), your recognition of the possibilities life afforded him before and after each choice...I could go on, but you get the picture.
This is a simple question that demands a complex, nuanced, and well-thought-out response; something as simple and polarized as "Macbeth is bad because he kills" just doesn't cut it. Always remember to state the why for every what!
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Macbeth is considered to be a tragic figure. It may seem impossible to sympathize with Macbeth for murdering innocent people for his own selfish benefit, but through it all, he is actually lost. He finds himself unable to stop killing those who seem as a threat to his seat on the throne. Once the deed (murder) is done, there’s no turning back, all there is left is to move on. It’s sad when Macbeth keeps on making the same mistakes over and over, never finding a correction for his errors. He is tragic figure for having to live through the consequences of his actions; having everything end up in a dark hole of nothingness. Even when he became king, he couldn’t find happiness. In order to protect his seat at the throne, Macbeth had to live the rest of his life alone, with no companion. He trusts no one and gets paranoid, thinking that someone would want to take his place at any moment.
The outer influence is not the blame for his turn from good to evil. He had the choice to either follow his own core values or go down the path of evil. Macbeth was not able to stay above the influence and was easily pressured by words from the weird sisters and his wife. It’s tragic to see him let goof himself; allowing the pressure to rip him apart. Macbeth never openly regretted what he had done and usually regret is an emotion is heartbreaking or tragic.
Macbeth is a tragic figure but not in the sense that he killed many but the road that he chose. Instead of being independent and making his own choices he was being pushed around by Lady Macbeth. In my Masters Thesis I wrote about how I liked the bad guys in books/plays/movies because they were intriguing. They drew me in by what choices they made and why they made them. They all have their reasons as to why they did the things they did, but in Macbeths case it was worse because he was pressured.
Was Macbeth born to be evil?
I don’t think so. I believe that he was an honest and good man. We see him think the evil things run through his mind, but he didn't think that he would actually go through with it. He began to question himself the moment his future was told to him. He was given two roads. Continue living life the way it was intended or do what he thinks has to be done and kill to get to the top? That is when the true tragedy began. When he decided to act upon his true evil.
After he became king he could trust no one. The tragedy wasnt so much him killing the people close to him, but the fact that he could trust no one and no one could trust him.
He ended up dying and no one was there to defend his honor. His wife had committed suicide and everyone he formerly knew was dead. He had no one in the end.
Macbeth is a tragedy in both definitions for me. The dictionary definition says that he would befall something horrible because of a supernatural force. That supernatural force in the story Macbeth is all of the outsiders besides Macbeth. He is driven to murder Duncan because his wife convinces him to. He is driven to a state of madness because he sees the ghosts of all he has slain. He is also driven to a level of arrogance because of the witches prophecy. If none of those people had affected him so strongly, he wouldn't have been such a murderous fiend. He had started as the Thane of Glamis, and that seemed like it was a good enough fate for him. When he led Duncan's forces against the rebels, he broke his destiny, and stepped up to Thane of Cawdor. If he hadn't heard the prophecy, he would have ended up in essentially the right hand man position under Duncan.
If I follow my own definition, I believe that a tragedy is about a seemingly good character gone bad through the events of a story. Macbeth is the perfect person for that definition. He was a worthy soldier under the king, and he was happy that he had become promoted. If it hadn't been for the rest of the characters in the story, he would have lived a peaceful life. I still pity Macbeth for being so trusting in the end. He believed that he himself could never be affected by close relationships, yet the story proves that he was just as easily convinced of evil as Duncan.
Based on the dictionary defintion and my definition of tragedy i think that macbeth is a tragic figure. Macbeth is a tragic figure because in the beginning of the play he kills duncan only because Lady Macbeth questions him which causes him to do it. Macbeth gets bossed around by Lady Macbeth to do things he does not want. Also, since he kills duncan he goes crazy in the play. During the dinner time he goes crazy and see Banquo ghost which scares him. Another time where he goes crazy is that he cannot sleep at night. If it was not for lady macbeth forcing him to kill duncan and he decided to do it himself it would not be a tragedy because he brought everything upon himself by disrupting the order of things by killing duncan.
In my own definition of tragedy i see it as a a good person who has bad things happen to them. Like in Macbeth at first Macbeth plans to kill duncan because of the witches prophecy. Even though he thinks about it after he goes back and forth in the end he decides not to kill Duncan until Lady Macbeth which makes causes him to have all of the bad things happen to him. Also, it is a tragedy because he only wants to be king but all of the things like him getting paranoid and thinking that someone is going to kill him and other things that affect him make it so he does not even enjoy the time as king.
From the very start of the play it was foreseen that it was going to be a tragic play. Even in real life the play is said to have a curse on it, killing everyone or hurting them. Macbeth as a person is faintly flawed because he is weak. He is not weak physical but weak mentally and cannot stand up for him self when the time is right. I can see that him as a person needs help to recover. He is one because he falls in to the trap so easily and cannot get out of the hole. But then again he is not a tragic figure because in the begging there was hope for him to live a happy life yet he chose to take a change and risk it all.
I think that he is a tragic figure because he shows us what not to become. From his mistake we can learn and not do what he did. Macbeth is our light to see what would happen if we did that. If I where to describe him it would be strong and a great follower of good but when in control of things he fails. He is to easily manipulated and could be taken advantage of.
I believe that Macbeth is just a character, which was not entirely sure of what he had in his life.
Also, he is a character who does not have the attitude to stand for what he believes in.
Lady Macbeth is the character which seems to be the one who wants to attain the crown the most, rather than Macbeth that was the actual person who heard the prophecies from the wired sisters.
Also we have to keep in mind that the play starts on a battle field, "tragic" stuff.