Is Macbeth a Hero or a Villain


A tragic hero is generally seen as being a person who has a tragic flaw, which eventually leads up to the character’s downfall. In the play, Macbeth’s flaw is his ambition. And this changes Macbeth from being a noble thane to becoming someone who’s responsible for the fall of Scotland and deaths of many great ones. ‘Macbeth’ is a tragic play, making Macbeth a tragic hero. Macbeth might have originally been a good person, but was led to tyranny by his personality flaw.

At the beginning of the play, Macbeth pleases the king by slaughtering the enemy in the battle. Duncan is so pleased by how Macbeth saved the day that he awards Macbeth with the title of Thane of Cawdor. In addition to this, Macbeth also had a great relationship with Duncan, the king. Duncan hath labeled him to be a ‘valiant cousin, worthy gentleman’ indicating his recognizable reputation with the King. Macbeth also received the opportunity to host the mighty King for a meal at his place, which at the time was very rare and recognized as a great honor.

His good nature is increasingly defeated by ambition, the one major flaw that corrupts his character and causes him to take rash and illogical actions that lead to his tragic tyranny. This includes handling the murder of King Duncan. The curiosity within him causes more confusion within him and this ambiguity leads to many regretful acts. Another thing needing recognition is the fact that Banquo was also given a prophecy but he chose to ignore it, Macbeth let it get to him because of his flawed ways of thinking. He did have the choice to disregard the witches’ prophecies.

He moreover was a victim of Lady Macbeth’s cruel manipulation. Lady Macbeth reads her husband’s letters, which included his experience with the three weird sisters, and she wished him a quick return all because she plans to pour her malicious spirits into his confused brain. She is one of the worst influences on Macbeth and is a major reason as to how Macbeth was brainwashed with ambition and maleficence. When Macbeth changes his mind about killing Duncan, she questions his masculinity and his love to her.

Macbeth’s ambition and his greed for power are like a raging fire. Lady Macbeth, the witches, and his curiosity added fuel to this fire. Although he was greatly influenced and manipulated, he could have still been the one to chose which way he would have gone making him a full tragic hero.


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