Macbeth Essay

951 words - 4 pages

Tragic Plays often create a strong tragic character whose human characteristics usually lead to his or her downfall. A tragic character is someone above the 'normal' in society who has a major tragic flaw that often leads to an unusual death. William Shakespeare's tragic play Macbeth, is an excellent example of the rise and fall of a typical tragic character. Ambition plays a major role in the development of Macbeth's character. Macbeth's major tragic flaw is his "vaulting ambition". In the first act, Macbeth comes across three witches who tell him what is to come, with this, Macbeth's ambition to greatness is established. Macbeth and Banquo meet these witches upon return from battle. These three witches all say things that catch Macbeth's curiosity "All hail, Macbeth! That shalt be King hereafter." (1.3.50). With this Macbeth has caught himself in conversation with the witches, learning of what apparently is coming his way. Macbeth shouts aloud: Stay, you imperfect speakers, tell me more: By Sinel's death I know I am Thane of Glamis; But how of Cawdor? the thane of Cawdor lives, A prosperous gentleman; and to be king Stands not within the prospect of belief, No more than to be Cawdor. Say from whence You owe this strange intelligence? or why Upon this blasted heath you stop our way With such prophetic greeting? Speak, I charge you. (1.3.70-78) When the witches exeunt, Macbeth is left somewhat puzzled by what the witches have told him. Yet, there a is feeling that he is satisfied enough to be ambitious and follow what the witches have told him. It is clear that within the first act, Macbeth is exposed to what is to come and what is leading him there; ambition. Further more, when Lady Macbeth realizes that Macbeth's ambition could be used to do harsh deeds, she exploits this in influencing Macbeth to murder Duncan. After Lady Macbeth finds out what the prophets have said, she is elated. She says what is necessary to keep Macbeth's ambition alive and strong. It seems as though Macbeth might kill Duncan without Lady Macbeth's...

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