Why Macbeth is an Aristotelian Tragedy

The tragedy is complete because macbeths descent into

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must be complete and of a certain magnitude. The tragedy is complete because Macbeth’s descent into madness is ended at the tip of Macduff’s sword and with Macduff’s dismissive words, “Hail, king! for so thou art: behold, where stands | The usurper’s cursed head: the time is free. (line 71-2, act 5, scene 8)” The magnitude of Macbeth’s situation is twofold: it is of a great scale literally because Macbeth has made himself the king of Scotland, and, therefore, responsible for the lives of all of its citizens (not a responsibility that should be given to someone who can be so easily influenced by his conniving wife or his own emotions), and Macbeth’s situation is of a great scale figuratively because he becomes increasingly vain, that is, concerned only with himself, and begins to think nothing of ending someone’s life (even if he or she is wholly innocent) for his own gains. Another absolutely integral part to the Aristotelian tragedy is a tragic hero with a tragic flaw-- clearly Macbeth. As with anything else theorized by Aristotle, the tragic hero is very specific, and must meet several standards. According to Aristotle, the central character of a tragedy must not be so virtuous that, instead of feeling pity or fear at his or her downfall, we are simply outraged. Also the character cannot be so evil that, for the sake of justice, we desire his or her misfortune. Instead, best is someone "who is neither outstanding in virtue and righteousness; nor is it through badness or villainy of his own that he falls into misfortune, but rather through some flaw". We are first introduced to Macbeth as a military hero, “For brave Macbeth--well he deserves that name-- | Disdaining fortune, with his brandish‘d steel, | Which smoked with bloody
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