This essay will evaluate the reasons as to why Macbeth by Shakespeare is indeed a tragedy. It will examine the the loss of of life throughout the pay, the immense waste and also discuss the grief and sadness that the audience feels through different parts of the play.
Throughout Macbeth a lot of different types of waste throughout the play that really establishes Macbeth as a Modern Tragedy. Its up to the reader themselves to decide how to perceive Macbeths innocence but Lady Macbeths actions are the main cause. Waste throughout the play is first seen within Macbeth himself. A tragic hero who himself has everything but throws it away through greed and also easy persuasion from Lady Macbeth as Macbeths low self-esteem and lack of manliness is constantly questioned by Lady Macbeth ‘I dare do all that may become a man,: who dares do more is none’ is a huge flaw to his character which changes him immensely throughout the Macbeth play. The way Lady Macbeth talks down his manliness shows the beginning of Macbeth losing his innocence and his morals. Doing anything to change Lady Macbeth’s perspective on him. Through this waste of innocence Macbeth is persuaded by Lady Macbeth to kill Duncan. By doing so she takes advantage of his innocence and wastes it. This waste of innocence and the actions of that waste leads in to a loss of life.
In the play the loss of life can be seen not only through Macbeths Character but also Banquo who Macbeth kills. Macbeth is portrayed as not caring about his own life. If he cannot care for his own life then other people’s lives in the play are just as distinguishable to Macbeth. Macbeths life doesn’t have any meaning to whim whatsoever. ‘The wine of life is drawn, and the mere lees, is left this vault to brag of’. This quote seems to say that life is meaningless and can be wasted and thrown away. Because of this loss of life and other criteria the play therefore becomes a tragedy. Lady Macbeth also goes through loss of life, making the criteria for a modern tragedy stronger She was once a strong character but as the play goes on she starts to lose her mind. The guilt she feels becomes too much for her and she eventually starts to go insane. This causes her to kill herself but also again adds to the loss of Macbeths life as her maid and doctor start to realise what Macbeth has done. She is so guilty and paranoid she starts to see things that are not there but are a representation of her conscience ‘out damned spot, out, I say’.
In Macbeth another reason as to why Macbeth fulfills the criteria of a modern tragedy is because it affects the reader emotionally. The reader feels for the characters especially in moments of grief or sadness. The reader may especially sympathise with the anguish of Lady Macbeth. Lady Macbeth is driven mad from guilt and often than not a reader may feel some pity for her. In turn Macbeths grief is then caused from Lady Macbeth killing herself. Here the reader would feel an immense sadness for him, their hearts going to Macbeth when such a terrible event happens to him. The reader feels the same grief as Macbeth does so they can identify more with him. The reader feels even more pity for Macbeth after his speech just as he has found out about Lady Macbeths passing. Everyone has at some point in their lives been affected by death so it is almost impossible to no relate to Macbeth here.
Waste element in the Macbeth can also be seen as a waste of potential of a characters . Macbeth’s nobility is wasted. He was once a well-respected man among his peers but eventually he is at rock-bottom. Macbeth was once a warrior and was praised by the King Duncan as a ‘worthy gentlemen’ As the witches start to tell Macbeth their prophecies Macbeths potential as a warrior and a gentlemen starts to fade away very quickly. He is lured in by the witches’ power and becomes obsessed with his future. This waste of nobility again spurred on by Lady Macbeth, as Macbeth constantly fears that Lady Macbeth would see him as less of a man for not continuing on his quest for as much power as he can gain.