The Cause of Tragedy Through Mischief From the perspective of A. C Bradley, a valueless central feeling is demonstrated in the great tragedy achieved by Macbeth`s mischief, thus leading to the catastrophe of Macbeth. In the play, after achieving the title as Thane of Glamis, Macbeth realizes that he can become much more by murdering the king. By doing this, he adopted an evil lifestyle where all the good he had left in him was gone to waste. A tragedy according to Aristotle involves a noble hero that must experience some sort of misfortune due to their violent actions creating chaos.
Macbeth`s reckless behaviour which supports Aristotle`s definition of tragedy being of waste is illustrated in the play through Macbeth’s disloyalty, the destruction he created, and his immorality. First, Macbeth’s disloyalty is first shown in the play after he learns about his future. At first he was doubtful, but with the support of Lady Macbeth, his curiosity escalated and he decided to invite the king to his castle where he will murder him.
The king’s murder by Macbeth shows that Macbeth is a traitor and is disloyal because he was supposed to protect the king as shown in the quote: “Which do but what they should, by doing everything Safe toward your love and honour. ” (1. 4. 27-28) but in the end he chose to kill him instead. Macbeth in this scene shows himself as an honourable and dependable man who Duncan can trust protecting him. Macbeth’s behaviour which proves his disloyalty allowed him to gain the title as king soon after, but at the same time the life he had as a good human being was gone to waste.
Furthermore, the destruction Macbeth caused started when he learns there were many people whom were against him being king, such as Macduff, Malcolm, and Banquo, who “fear Thou played’st most foully for’t. ” (3. 1. 2-4). In Banquo’s soliloquy, his suspicion for Macbeth grows, believing Macbeth may have cheated somehow to gain the titles of being the king, Thane of Cawdor and Glamis. After learning that Banquo may be a threat to him, Macbeth sends murderers to kill him before Banquo reveals Duncan’s murderer to others. On top of that, the witches’ prophecy claims that Banquo’s descendants will become future kings.
Macbeth then hires the murderers to kill both Banquo and Fleance to guarantee his success. With Banquo out of his mind, in Act IV, Macbeth discovers that Macduff has turned against him and sends the murderers to kill his family. Although this idea does not produce a feeling of waste, it is a key factor of a tragedy that leads to the tragic downfall of Macbeth. Finally, Macbeth’s immorality makes him a tragic hero because by following the path of evil, he was able to reach to the top of royalty as a king, and create chaos and destruction to Scotland.
After the influence of the witches and Lady Macbeth in Act I, Macbeth abandoned his old life as Thane of Glamis and an honourable nobleman, to fulfill the witches’ prophecy and become a king. After becoming king, Macbeth’s obsession over power made him start a massacre to ensure his throne. In Act V, Macbeth tells the Doctor to “Bring me no more reports. Let them fly all. ” (5. 3. 1). Macbeth states in this quote that he does not want to hear any more news regarding the thanes, as they were disloyal to him and abandoned Macbeth to fight for the other army.
Preparing for war with England, Macbeth finds out that Lady Macbeth has died, which starts to develop the catastrophe of Macbeth. Macbeth fights his final battle with Macduff, which leaves Macbeth beheaded. Macbeth’s immorality certainly makes a tragedy one of waste because he was able to become everything he wanted through evil, but those tragic events led him to his downfall where he lost everything he had such as his throne, his wife, and his life.
In conclusion, what makes Macbeth a tragic hero is portrayed by his disloyalty to the royal people, the destruction he created on Scotland, and his immoral actions to maintain his power. A tragic downfall has occurred due to the devastating events that Macbeth had started, leading to the loss of his wife, throne, and his head. After his tragic downfall, a new order, Malcolm comes into play and rebuilds the life of Scotland. In the end, all of these tragic events of Macbeth make the central feeling of a tragedy, a waste because everything that Macbeth had gone through to become who he wanted was all for nothing.