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Macbeth - a Tragic Hero

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Jessica Raimondo

English 4 CP

Mr. McDonnell

March 10, 2016

Macbeth, A Tragic Hero

Lord Macbeth, better known simply as Macbeth, is one of the many distinguished characters created by William Shakespeare. The story, written in 1606, gained world-wide recognition, as it is still studied and conversed today. Macbeth, originally written as a theater play, includes a genre of drama and tragedy. William Shakespeare is an example of an impressive playwright who has the ability to write so remarkably that he captures the attention of readers of all ages.

Macbeth is a story of prophecy, ambition and revenge. Prophecy is considered a main theme of this story due to the predictions of Three Witches who Macbeth and Banquo encounter returning home from a battle. Banquo is an ally of Macbeth, as they were both Generals in King Duncan’s army. When the two noticed the sisters in Act 1, Scene III, Banquo stated “What are these so wither’d and so wild in their attire, that look not like the inhabitants o’ the earth…”. This quote helps readers to imagine the sisters appearance and how shocked Banquo was to see them. One of the witches soon replied with “All hail, Macbeth! Hail to thee, thane of Glamis!”. The second witch followed with “All hail, Macbeth, hail to thee, thane of Cawdor!”. While the third and final witch stated “All hail, Macbeth, thou shalt be king hereafter!”. While Macbeth were very confused and lost for words, Banquo was excited for his ally. Banquo also received prophecies from the witches which included being greater than Macbeth, and being a father of Kings. The remainder of the story proves the prophecies are true and it’s consequences.

Ambition plays a key factor in Macbeth, as he is willing to do whatever it takes to get what he wants. Macbeth stated in Act 1, Scene 7, “I have no spur to prick the sides of my intent, but only vaulting ambition, which o’erleaps itself, and falls on th’other…”. Macbeth is referring to King Duncan who he is contemplating murdering for the throne. In this quote, he explained to himself that there is no true meaning behind the crime; Duncan is a good king



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