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Was Macbeth a Tragic Hero?

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Examples of Tragic Heroes with Different Kinds of Nemesis

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Tragic Hero Hubris Examples: What Makes Characters Become Tragic Heroes

It can be circumstances caused by the hero's hubris. Like in the case of Oedipus, when the hero kills his real father making the prophecy that he wanted to avoid come true. The same thing happens to Raskolnikov in The Crime and Punishment. Led by his illusions about a perfect society without injustice and his role in its creation, he kills a real person. His deed is awful, and he understands it quite well.

The inner conflict is started at this point of narration, and Raskolnikov as a tragic hero will lose anyway. One of the most popular hero examples for a heroic essay in contemporary literature is Severus Snape in Harry Potter books. Although this is one of the modern tragic hero examples, we see no difference in the nemesis pattern of the character. Yes, it was created despite the majority of rules set in the ancient times it took the writer more than 18 years!

The hero wants to avoid his calling to join the Dark Lord and starts acting as a double agent. Snape tries to help everybody he cares about without being exposed by all sides: Harry, as he feels his responsibility for the son of the woman he loved; Draco, as he can't let him commit the crime and turn evil; and Dumbledore, as he is the only person Snape can trust but is still forced to kill to stop Dumbledore's suffering and to raise their chances to win.

After all, he dies from the hand of the Dark Lord, which brings a logical completion for him — he gave his life for the Good. Tragic heroes examples shown in the cases above have only got enemies because of their decisions. Nemesis is predetermined but could be different in different situations. In The Great Gatsby by F. Fitzgerald, nemesis is demonstrated in the more literal way — this is an actual person, Tom Buchanan. Their rivalry is all about the woman.

One may suggest that Gatsby could have avoided his nemesis if he understood that today's Daisy is not what he really craved, but without his love for her, he wouldn't be the same person.

So, we can agree that this love for a perfect memory of a girl he once knew is a defining aspect of his personality, and nemesis is, therefore, very predictable. All the examples of tragic heroes experience anagnorisis somewhere in the plot. Thus, in Oedipus Rex, the hero understands who are his real parents, that he killed his own father, married his mother, and all his attempts to change his destiny were in vain. In Shakespeare's tragedies which have given us plenty of hero examples for a heroic essay, the most vivid life-changing anagnorisis is the moment when Romeo and Juliet understand that they belong to the warring families, and they should consider each other to be blood enemies.

Here, anagnorisis is strongly contrasted to this sudden pure love they felt once they met. As far as a tragic hero may not be a protagonist anymore, anagnorisis may be connected to the hero but be experienced by the main character. Peripeteia is another way for an author to change a tragic hero's life - this time, with the help of circumstances. There is usually more than one peripeteia in the plot. For example, in Sophocles' work when Oedipus leaves the parents who adopted him, what were the chances that he would meet and kill his father?

What were the chances that, of all women, he would choose his own mother to marry? Peripeteia in the play is also connected with the act of gods, like the plague that has been sent on Thebes, which resulted in Oedipus desire to find the murderer and understanding that it was him. The reader observes the latest part of revealing tragic hero examples with hamartia as the background. This is the tragic flow of events that, eventually, leads the hero to the tragic end.

Unlike peripeteia, hamartia is the whole course of events based on the hero's hubris and the wrong choices made because of the hero's delusions. We can predict hamartia to a certain extent, as it is not hard to understand. This is the part when we start comparing the tragic hero to ourselves and wonder what we would do in such situations.

Besides, we can already feel that something terrible is going to happen at the end. The writer's aim when using hamartia is to make readers sympathize with a tragic hero, to make catharsis logical, and not to give too much away.

It is perfectly applied in The Great Gatsby. We start feeling a little sad for the main character; then, we get a little sadder and sadder, and at the point of catharsis - shocked and truly surprised. The hamartia of the novel suggested that Gatsby could have been sent to jail, or killed by Tom, but his end is quite unexpected, but still logical, so catharsis is much stronger. If you choose Raskolnikov as on of tragic hero examples for a heroic essay, you will have to point out that the hamartia here is based on his ideas about how the society should work.

He doesn't only make the wrong conclusion about himself and the society, but also about the concepts of right and wrong. Catharsis is the highest point of the reader's sadness towards the tragic hero. This can also be a combination of fear and pity. The hero doesn't scare readers, of course, as it is the prerogative of the antagonist. We are terrified of the fate which appears to be inevitable and, therefore, even more sinister.

Initially, catharsis was mainly based on the rule of the three unities. Macbeth and his wife overcome the task to kill the king and Macbeth becomes King of Scotland. Macbeth then senses threat from a noble friend of his named Banquo.

He hires 2 murderers to kill Banquo. He also succeeds in this assignment. Macbeth ends up killing Macduffs family while Macduff was away. Through all the pressure and problems that were happening throughout the play, Lady Macbeth commits suicide. After hearing that Macbeth had killed Macduffs family, Macduff and the army head for Macbeths castle and cut down Birnam wood trees to use as cover.

In the end Macduff who was born by C-section, which was not considered to be born of a woman kills Macbeth. Macbeth is clearly a hero because at the very beginning in Act 1 many characters speak of how heroic Macbeth was and how he performed in battle in defense of his kings land.

Macbeth is praised for all his courage in the battle, which raises hope of having the crown. Then again, in act 1 we hear from the king how much he admires and happens to appreciate Macbeth. Macbeth is very ambitious and always wants to succeed. Macbeth shows his heroic side when he tries to keep Lady Macbeth innocent of the murder crime he committed.

These evidences lead me to the simple conclusion that Macbeth definitely was a tragic hero. He possessed every component that a tragic hero would have.


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Shakespeare's basis for Macbeth as a tragic hero could have followed the classical tradition e.g. the story of Oedipus, who is shown as a tragic hero in his own story, .

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Essay on Macbeth and Tragic Hero Words | 5 Pages Macbeth, a tragedy written by William Shakespeare in the 17th century, expresses clearly the strong pull .

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Shakespeare's Macbeth as Tragic Hero Essay - Macbeth as Tragic Hero Aristotle defined a tragic character is a man who “falls into misfortune through some flaw." (Grube, 5) Shakespeare's tragic hero is a man who falls from his position of honor and respect due to a . Macbeth as a Tragic Hero The role of a tragic hero is commonplace in many of Shakespeare’s works. The character of Macbeth is a classic example of a Shakespearean tragic hero. There are a multitude of factors that contribute to Macbeth being labelled as a tragic hero.

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- Macbeth - The Tragic Hero Every true Elizabethan Tragedy comes complete with a tragic hero. The tragedy Macbeth, written by William Shakespeare, has a perfect example of a tragic hero, otherwise known as Macbeth. A tragic hero must be a man who is great and admirable in various ways. Oct 14,  · Macbeth was a true Shakespearean tragic hero. He had many noble qualities as well as several tragic flaws. He was a courageous, brave and good nobleman who was haunted by superstition, moral cowardice and an overwhelming ambition.