Dunn
English IV
11/6/15
There have been many heroes though time, but not all of them tragic. William Shakespeare’s story of Macbeth, being about a war hero whom receives titles from his feats. Macbeth’s role is a tragic hero corrupt by greed, and his misfortune only grows. Macbeth is visited by three witches who come to him and give him prophetic-like news. They tell him he will become Thane of Cawdor and King. Macbeth and Lady Macbeth, however, are not content with his new title of Thane, and plot to kill Duncan (the current king). However situations go a bit amiss. In the plans to ensure their own success, continue murdering, they dig themselves into a whole they won’t be able to get out of.
When Macbeth hears his destiny from the three witches he is still a noble man. It’s when he is the rewarded the title that he is now Thane of Cawdor, that he becomes a tragic hero and is blinded by dark ambition. He and Lady Macbeth decide to kill Duncan, “He is about it: the doors are open; and the surfeited grooms do mock their charge with snores: I have drugg’d their possets, that death and nature do contend about them, whether they live or die.”(Shakespeare 50) The deed is to be done; Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are ready to place the blame of Duncan’s murder on his own guards. However at this point Macbeth is wavering and begins to feel the guilt of what he is done. As he expresses, “I am afraid to think what I have done; look on’t again I dare not.”(Shakespeare 55) Macbeth is currently unable to face the weight of what he has done. Yet, his guilt begins to fade, as he grasps for what he wants.
As Macbeth should’ve intended his ambitious plans go awry, even if at first the murder circumstances go his way. People begin to talk of Macbeth becoming king, “Thriftless ambition, that wilt ravin up thine own life’s means! Then ‘tis most like the sovereignty will fall upon Macbeth.”(Shakespeare 73) Since Duncan’s son’s fled they’ve been blamed, and Macbeth will be the one to gain the throne. However Banquo begins to suspect Macbeth, “Thou hast it how: king, Cawdor, Glamis, all, as the weird women promised, and, I fear, thou play’dst most foully for’t.”(Shakespeare 77) Banquo, having been present when the witches visited Macbeth, now suspects Macbeth’s sudden good fortune. Now Macbeth will only grow desperate.
Macbeth makes the choice to continue murdering so that he may ensure what he has worked, and killed for. So he comes to the conclusion that he must kill Banquo, “For certain friends that are both his and mine, whose loves I may not drop, but wail his fall who I myself struck down; and thence it is, that I to your assistance do make love, masking the business from the common eye for sundry weighty reasons.”(Shakespeare 85) Macbeth wishes to do away without losing the people close to him if they learn the identity of the murderer(s). Macbeth’s mind has been made, “It is concluded. Banquo, thy soul’s flight, if it find heaven, must find it out to-night.”(Shakespeare 87) Macbeth feels he will finally be free of Banquo. However Macbeth’s decision to continue murdering was all in vain.
Macbeth sent murderers to kill Banquo so the one person suspicious of his action would be dead. However Banquo’s son, Fleance escapes. As the murderers discover, “There’s but one down; the son has fled.”(Shakespeare 95) Making Fleance someone who now knows of Macbeth’s actions and may expose Macbeth. However in the end, during battle, Macbeth meets his end to Macduff. As said, “Hail, king! For so thou art: behold, where stands the usurper’s cursed head: the time is free.”(Shakespeare 192) Macduff has no freed everyone of Macbeth and his rule as king.
In route of their own dark Macbeth and Lady Macbeth dig themselves into a whole they won’t be able to get out of. However Macbeth beginning was as a noble man. A hero, in fact, but all of that was gone when he lost sight of which he was though greed. In his greed to become king he killed many, including his best friend. Many turned against what he had become. In the end, Macbeth