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Macbeth, a Tragic Hero

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"The reputation of a thousand years may be determined by the conduct of one

hour" - Japanese Proverb. Macbeth, the main character in Macbeth by Shakespeare,

had been an honorable, successful nobleman who had been praised even by the king

after fighting for his country. He, however, lost everything he had and was killed at the

end because of his tragic traits. Macbeth was a tragic hero according to the definition of

Aristotle because he was not pitiful, and his fate played a strong role in his actions but

did not force them.

Macbeth was not pitiful. He was an honorable man with many admirable

features. In the beginning of the play, he defended the Kingdom of Scotland from

Norway and Ireland. He was a brave, valiant war hero. Additionally, Macbeth was

praised and rewarded by King Duncan. After the captain explained to King Duncan all

the courageous things Macbeth had done for the country, King Duncan praised him by

saying, "O valiant cousin, worthy gentleman!" (1.2.24). The king also rewarded Macbeth

by announcing that Macbeth will be given the title of Thane of Cawdor. Macbeth was a

great man who was admired by many people. If he managed himself very well, like he

did in the beginning of the play, he could have stayed as a respectable person. His

brave feature and the high title made him an honorable man, not a pitiful man.

Furthermore, fate played a strong role in the actions of Macbeth but did not force

them. In the beginning of the play, three witches told Macbeth that he will one day

become a king. They told him his fate, but they did not mention how he is going to be

the king. Thus, it was his fate to become a king, but he could have chosen a way to get

there. His decision to kill King Duncan in order to become king was affected by the

prophecies that the witches had made, but it was ultimately Macbeth himself that

decided to kill the king. Likewise, his decisions to kill Banquo and Macduff's

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