Macbeth is a tragedy written by William Shakespeare. Macbeth appears to be the shortest of all of William Shakespeare’s tragedies, but it is very quick-paced. The play Macbeth has many themes, one being guilt which occurs after Macbeth sees Banquo’s ghost who warns him that Macbeth will become Thane of Cawdor, then king. Macbeth has many opportunities to turn away from his dark path but he chooses to keep on with it for greed and ambition lead Macbeth into committing more crimes that all point him out as guilty of treason.
Macbeth is very brave, he made the witches show their true form when they appeared in Macbeth’s mind and Macbeth didn’t even show a flinch to the horrid creatures. Macbeth is very cunning as he kills Duncan by pouring poison into his ear instead of facing him with a sword. Macbeth also uses deception when Macduff comes to kill Macbeth, Macbeth sends Lady Macduff and her children off somewhere else so they won’t be killed in their sleep.
While Macduff goes searching for them Macduff falls asleep and wakes up to find out that every single one of his family members was murdered silently while he slept because Macbeth saw through all of the deceptions and knew that Macduff would leave but not before snatching them away from their home and Macbeth got them all. Macduff’s family was Macbeth’s kryptonite Macbeth knew Macduff would feel a huge amount of guilt for Macbeth did Macduff did so Macbeth murdered Macduff ‘s family in order to get to Macduff and when he found Macduff the only thing that could kill Macbeth was his strong love for children.
Did Macbeth meet all the requirements of a tragedy? Was the protagonist Macbeth a hero or a villain? Macbeth was indeed a tragedy, however it does not meet all that is required for a true tragic play. Macbeth only has one scene which he could be considered ‘heroic’, but overall his character can go either way. Macbeth is somewhat of an anti-hero in the sense that he does have some flaws however at points he can also demonstrate positive characteristics. Shakespeare’s Macbeth shows very few good traits and many flaws in moral values making Macbeth more of an anti-hero than anything else.
Macbeth is most definitely not heroic because in every major action Macbeth takes his intentions are for personal gain and not the gain of others. Macbeth is a tragic play because Macbeth is a flawed character with a tragic flaw which ultimately leads to his destruction, however Macbeth fails to meet some of the criteria one may consider Macbeth a hero. Macbeth has no humility or sense of limitation in his ambition which makes him very self-centered and prideful.
Macbeth’s lack of humility causes Macbeth’s death when Macduff kills Macbeth by stabbing him in the back because Macbeth was looking into a mirror after seeing Macduff coming from behind Macbeth. Macduff was not scared or fearful of Macbeth in this moment so he planned on coming in Macbeth’s blind spot to kill Macbeth. Macduff knows Macbeth would not expect Macduff to do this because Macbeth is too prideful and arrogant to think that Macduff would move behind Macbeth instead of Macbeth killing Macduff.
Macbeth was so focused on looking into the mirror at himself that he did not realize Macduff was coming towards him until it was too late. Another reason why Macbeth does not have humility is when Macduff challenges Macbeth, “Had I your brethren here, their lives and yours/I’d spend them all” (Act V Scene VIII Line 9-10). Shakespeare supports the fact that Macduff does not fear Macbeth by saying Macduff would spend Macbeth’s life just as Macbeth had done to Macduff’s family.
Macduff does not show fear towards Macbeth but instead hatred and anger because Macduff knows what it is like to lose his family so anyone who would kill their own family members must be destroyed. Macbeth also shows no sense of limitation in his ambition which leads him down the dark path of murder many innocent people for selfish reasons. An example Shakespeare uses to reveal that Macbeth lacks a sense of limitation, “I am in blood/Stepped in so far that should I wade no more/Returning were as tedious as go o’er. (Act I Scene II Line 30-32).
Macbeth is saying he bloodied his hands so deep that if Macbeth turned back it would be just as bad as going on which shows Macbeth does not have a sense of limitation with his ambition. Macbeth is a man who wants power and will do anything to get it. Macbeth knows what he must do in order to obtain the crown and there is no limit when it comes to how many people Macbeth has killed without any remorse or regret.
Macbeth is a tragedy in verse. It depicts Macbeth and his wife committing regicide and then facing divine punishment for their crimes. Macbeth, the general of King Duncan I of Scotland’s army, receives a prophecy from a trio of witches that one day he will become King of Scotland by killing Duncan with his own hands. Consumed by ambition and spurred to action by his wife, Macbeth murders Duncan upon returning home. He becomes king by murdering all those who stand in his way; Macduff proves to be an exception when Macbeth learns Macduff is also descended from one of the witches’ prophesies.
Macbeth progresses through its five acts: Act I opens with a banquet celebrating Macbeth’s victory over Macdonwald. Macbeth is visited by three witches, who prophesy that Macbeth will become Thane of Cawdor and King hereafter. Macbeth, at his wife’s urging, murders King Duncan I of Scotland and claims the throne for himself. Macbeth becomes filled with guilt and paranoia. Banquo, Macbeth’s friend, realizes that Macbeth murdered Duncan; Macbeth then hires two murderers to kill Banquo and his son Fleance; but Banquo’s ghost haunts Macbeth afterwards.
Macduff betrays Macbeth later on in battle when he attempts to assassinate Macbeth. He fails in assassinating his target because Macduff’s wife flees with Macbeth’s unborn child. Macduff is led to believe Macbeth killed his own son, which causes Macduff to be deeply saddened. Macbeth then realizes that Macduff betrayed him and he fled to England after killing Macbeth’s wife offstage. Macduff returns later in Act V to take revenge on Macbeth; Macduff also brings Malcolm, the rightful heir to the throne of Scotland whom Macbeth executed earlier in Act I out of fear for becoming king.
They fight and Macbeth kills himself due to his injuries inflicted by Macduff during their battle. The play takes place over roughly two decades (see Date) as it opens with Macbeth as a general in the army of King Duncan. Macbeth, with his friend Banquo, are victorious at the Battle of Lumphanan over Lord Macdonwald and his allied forces. Macbeth is then made Thane of Cawdor, and he marries Lady Macbeth, who was responsible for getting him to commit regicide by inspiring him with her dreams.
Macduff and Malcolm, son of the king Duncan I (who Macbeth has betrayed), arrive; Macduff has fled from England after learning that Macbeth had murdered Lady Macduff and their children. Macbeth becomes jealous when Duncan names his son Malcolm as heir to Scotland’s throne upon his death. Macbeth murders Duncan, and Macduff flees to England. Macbeth is then crowned king. Macduff returns with English forces led by Malcolm to overthrow Macbeth; Macduff also wants revenge on Macbeth for killing his family. Macduff kills Macbeth in the Scottish throne room at Dunsinane Castle, and Malcolm becomes King of Scotland.