Tragedy is a form of drama that deals with human suffering. Generally speaking, tragedy portrays a hero who flourishes at the beginning of story, but then, because of a tragic act, faces a reversal of fortune. The tragic hero encounters great suffering and hardship in the drama but because of this develops greater awareness about himself or the world. A tragedy often concludes with the hero’s demise.
Macbeth can be understood as the typical tragedy as it contains the following tragic elements:
- Hero has high social status and potential for greatness
- Hero has a tragic flaw
- Hero commits a tragic act
- Hero experiences a reversal of fortune
- Hero gains wisdom
- Hero inspires pity and excites fear