Saturday, October 12, 2019
Macbeth as the Aristotelian Tragic Hero Essay -- Macbeth essays
Macbeth as the Aristotelian Tragic Hero The first criterion that a tragic hero must comply to is that they must be above average. They must be Khrestos. Macbeth is khrestos. He is described as "valour's minion" 1-2 19. Valour's minion means bravery's favourite. Also he is spoken of as "brave" and "Bellona's bridegroom". Bellona was the goddess of war. Duncan, the king, describes Macbeth as "noble". And also uses a familiar term for Macbeth, as if he is in the kings family. "o' valiant cousin, worthy gentleman". These quotations from Duncan carry more weight as they are from the highest nobility, the monarch himself. These quotes evidence that Macbeth is khrestos. Everyone thinks highly of him and he is already Thane of Glamis, then he becomes Thane of Cawdor. The Thane of Cawdor is executed for being a traitor, so Macbeth inherits the label of a traitor, even though it is not known. Another condition of a tragic hero is that he must have a flaw in his character that will prove fatal to his life or status. This flaw is called Hamartia. Macbeth's hamartia is that he is ambitious. It is obvious that he has thought about being king before the predictions of the three witches. "if chance will have me king, why, chance may crown me without my stir". This quote evidences this fact. The best piece of evidence of Macbeth's hamartia is his line. "I have no spur to prick the sides of my intent, but only vaulting ambition which o'erleaps itself". It is also clear that he is ambitious, when he is at the castle of Duncan and Malcolm is named as the Prince of Cumberland, which is heir to the throne.... ...ies Macduff's son when he is stabbed by an assassin. We also feel fear and pity for Banquo when he is killed whilst on his innocent ride with Fleance. Both scenes before each respective murder are sweet and homely and make the reader feel doubly upset when the characters are murdered. Some people pity Macbeth during his anagnorisis, but not during his peripetiea when his relationship with his wife is falling apart, we tend to pity Lady Macbeth. "how now my lord, why do you keep alone" 3-2 l8. She sounds upset and innocent when we still really know that Lady Macbeth is pure evil and helped to corrupt her husband. I conclude, that I do believe Macbeth is a true tragic hero in the Aristotelian sense. Macbeth fits all the criteria and I do indeed experience catharsis, all the way through the play.