Presentation on theme: "The Tragic Hero -- The Tragic Process. The Tragic Hero † In Shakespeare’s era, a tragedy always focused on the tragic protagonist: † A person of high."— Presentation transcript:
The Tragic Hero † In Shakespeare’s era, a tragedy always focused on the tragic protagonist: † A person of high stature whose personal flaw causes him to choose wrongly.
Progression of the Tragic Process † Dilemma † Wrong Choice † Suffering † Perception † Death † Restoration to Order
The problem is… The dilemma is the choice that the protagonist must make, or a problem he or she must face. Macbeth’s dilemma: whether or not to murder Duncan
By the pricking of my thumbs, Something wicked this way comes…. With his wife’s strong prompting and prophesies from the Weird Sisters fueling his ambition….. I have no spur to prick the sides of my intent, but only / Vaulting ambition, which o’erleaps itself / And falls on th’ other------------ [I; vii] …..Macbeth makes the wrong choice
Wrong Choice The tragic hero has a character flaw or weakness that causes him or her to make the wrong choice or decision.
Tragic Flaw Macbeth’s character flaw is hubris — from the Greek hybris – meaning “excessive pride ”
Suffering The tragic hero’s flawed choice leads to suffering and often death for not only the hero, but also for others. Immediately after Duncan’s murder, Macbeth suffers: he cannot sleep...has no joy… O, full of scorpions is my mind, dear wife! [III, ii]
Lady Macbeth dies… Out, out brief candle! [V, v] Most of Macbeth’s friends reject him-- …that which should accompany old age / As honor, love, obedience, troops of friends, I must not look to have… [V, iii]
Double, double, toil and trouble; Fire burn and caldron bubble. The prophecies conjured by the Weird Sisters arouse Macbeth’s ambition and pride: The mind I sway by and the heart I bear / Shall never sag with doubt or fear.[V, iii] I have almost forgot the taste of fears;…[V, v] I bear a charméd life which must not yield / To one of woman born. [V, viii]
Fear not, till Birnam Wood Do Come to Dunsinane! As I did stand my watch upon the hill, / I looked toward Birnam, and anon, methought, The wood began to move. [V, v]
No man of woman born shall harm Macbeth. Despair thy charm, / And let the angel whom thou still hast served / Tell thee, Macduff was from his mother’s womb / Untimely ripped. [V, viii]
Perception Perception brings an epiphany—the “Ah ha!” moment—to the tragic hero. Ah ha!!!
Epiphany And be these juggling fiends no more believed, / That palter with us in a double sense; / That keep the word of promise to our ear / And break it to our hope. …Yet I will try the last. Before my body I throw my warlike shield. Lay on, MacDuff, / And damned be him that first cries, “Hold, enough!” [V, viii]
Death As Macbeth faces the final battle, he realizes that his ambition did not bring peace, and he sees that he must die to pay the penalty for the chaos he has caused.
Restoration The crowning of Malcolm represents the Restoration to Order for Scotland: Hail, King! for so thou art: behold, where stands / Th’ usurper’s cursed head. The time is free. [V, viii]
Fate vs. Free Will The reader has to wonder what influence the Weird Sisters and Lady Macbeth had on Macbeth’s choices. While their influence was intense, Shakespeare seems to show that Macbeth is ultimately responsible for his wrong choices.
Men at some times are masters of their fates. / The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, / But in ourselves. Cassius, Act I, scene 2 Julius Caesar
Hubris …how dangerous is the acquirement of knowledge, and how much happier that man who believes his native town to be the world, than he who aspires to become greater than his nature will allow. Frankenstein Chapter VI