Macbeth Macbeth question

Is Macbeth a tragic hero?
Hyeyoung Hyeyoung (last edited Feb 01, 2017 12:45AM ) Feb 01, 2017 12:44AM
Personally, I don't think Macbeth is a tragic hero. The prophecies told by the witches are not credible; therefore, Macbeth is not "destined" to commit crimes to follow his fate. Banquo does not commit any crime even though he hears a similar prophecy. This supports the idea that Macbeth’s actions cannot be justified. Macbeth is not obeying his fate but makes the prophecies happen artificially, which proves that Macbeth intentionally commits murder and uses the witches’ prophecies to justify his crimes.

What are your ideas?

We see from the start of the play that Macbeth is being influenced by the witches before he even meets them with the quote, "So fair and foul a day I have not seen" (links to the witches quote "fair is foul and foul is fair") so personally I think his actions thoughout the play are influenced by the witches. He is also influenced by Lady Macbeth who could also be seen as evil with quotes like "take my milk for gall".

Gary (last edited Apr 04, 2018 07:01PM ) Feb 01, 2017 01:51AM   0 votes
In the modern, Western world witches aren't given a lot of credibility, though there are parts of the world where they are. In the Shakespearean/play world they generally are. The supernatural exists in his plays in various ways. Macbeth does have to perform various actions for his destiny to come true, but other characters have their fates with little or no action on their part.

It depends on how the play gets interpreted/staged, of course, but almost all the stagings that I can think of treat the witches and the prophecy pretty seriously. One could interpret it as entirely madness on Macbeth's part (and his lady's.) Or we could see the witches as engaging in a kind of programming/influence that Macbeth falls for. But typically the assumption is that in the age in which Shakespeare wrote, the kinds of things he portrayed in Macbeth would have been understood to be destiny.

F 25x33
Hyeyoung Thank you! I've never thought of it that way. Did the majority of the people who were living in the 16th century (and early 17th century) believe that ...more
Feb 01, 2017 02:08AM · flag
Gary I think it's fair to say most people had a pretty religious overall worldview, and believed in such things. Hell, lots of people still go to astrologe ...more
May 01, 2017 07:37AM · flag

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