When Tragedy Strikes

Josh Foreman Friday, November 21st, 2008

When Tragedy Strikes

Ambition, rashness, acting without an impulse; these are the classically defined characteristics that describe the traditional Shakespearean tragic hero. In William Shakespeare’s play, Macbeth, the stories main character Macbeth is the perfect example for portraying these unrewarding qualities in being a tragic hero. This specific character, just like any tragic hero starts off on a positive, affirmative level but slowly, once their tragic flaws catch up with them, start to diminish and break down into something so low that they can not control it. Macbeth in comparison to that starts off as a loyal person, who is considerate and noble for his country of Scotland, but in time begins to dwindle down as his flaws start to haunt him. Macbeth is established as a tragic hero shown in his ambitious tragic flaw, his sacrificial death at a significant moment, and the regeneration and renewal after his death.
In order for someone to become a certified tragic hero they need to possess a tragic flaw. These flaws come from a characters error in judgment brought forth from a rash and greedy attitude which leads to a certain over-confidence and pride in their actions. Macbeth’s main tragic flaw is his ambition. His over-ambitious nature leads him to make quick and poor decisions, simply because he wanted something so bad, and that was to become king. He was not going to let anything or anyone get in his way. When Macbeth first hears the witches’ prophecies stating that he would become the Thane of Cawdor, and that he possibly could become King in the future, his ambition starts to begin. Prophecy, in any “spirit” or interpretation does not lie, but can be deceiving and must be approached with careful thought. Macbeth, due to his ambition, does not take the time to understand the true meaning of the prophecy carefully, and approaches it without caution. That fatal flaw was the upbringing of.