Macbeth as Tragedy

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


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