The word tragedy has a few meanings but which are quite similar. In a dictionary there will be about four or five different meanings, but the main one is, a play in which the main character falls to disaster through personal failing and/or circumstances with which he cannot deal with. Certain plays are called tragedies and most do end with disaster. Macbeth is called a tragedy as lots of deaths occur leaving people with no family and there are lots of examples of tragedy in this play.
One of the many tragedies in Macbeth is death. Duncan, Banquo and Macduffs wife and children are killed.
When Duncan dies it is a shock as he was such a well-respected man and was one of the best Scottish Kings there had ever been,
O horror, horror, horror! ¦
Confusion now hath made his masterpiece.
Most sacrilegious murder hath broken ope¦.
This quote shows that it is a shock as it means that it is the ultimate in destruction and that it could not be worse.
It was also a shock as he was a well-protected man and to hear about him being killed and the murderer not caught it is amazing. This was a tragedy as an innocent person who was liked by everyone was murdered in cold blood.
When the murder of Banquo occurred people thought of it as a tragedy to Fleance as he has no mother and no father any more.
The murder of Macduffs wife and children was pictured as a tragedy as his children were so young and they had their whole lives ahead of them.
The ruination of Scotland is also a tragedy as only a few weeks before, the country was happy.
Another tragedy in this play is the breaking of a very close relationship of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. At the beginning of the play Macbeth was open towards her and they saw each other often, whereas nearing the end of the play they are not even seen in the same scene anymore.
Macbeth was busy thinking of other things and full of evil and just ignored everything else, but why? Who made him like that and changed him into an evil murderer and corrupt King?
When this play was written, witches and witchcraft were the main object of morbid and fevered fascination. Forty years before the play was written (inclusive, ie 1560-1603) between 1603 and 1606, hundreds of women mainly were convicted as witches and were then executed.
Nearly all people believed in witches. People believed that witches were able to predict the future, fly bring night in daytime and that they cursed their enemies with fatal diseases.
They also believed that witches could raise evil spirits by making potions with very nauseating ingredients,
Eye of newt, and toe of frog,
Wool of hat, and tongue of dog,
Adders fork, and blind-worms sting,
Lizards leg, and howlets wing¦
Scale of dragon, tooth of wolf,
Witches mummy, maw and gulf¦
Cool it with a baboons blood,
Then the charm is firm and good.
The people in those days also believed that witches allowed the Devil to suck their blood and when people thought someone was a witch, they were examined for the Devils mark. This is a red mark on their body from which Satan had sucked their blood (damned spot).
When this play was written, James I was on thrown. William Shakespeare was close to the King at the time, and like most people, he wanted to please the King. It just so happened that James I had an interest in witchcraft and the supernatural and so I think the purpose of this play was to please the King and get in his good books and I think that this would make people go and see this play.
Macbeth can be blamed for the tragedy in the play as he wanted to have power and he is a man who reaches his goals and is driven by his ambitions.
He wanted to become King and this desire soon enough makes him murder Duncan as when the King names Malcolm as his successor Macbeth says,
The Prince of Cumberland that is a step,
On which I must fall down on, or else oerleap.
This shows that Malcolm is an obstacle in his goal or target to the throne.
He wants power and to be in charge as he said,
Glamis, and Thane of Cawdor.
The greatest is behind¦ .
This quote means that the greatest thing is still to come, ie to be King like the weird sisters prophersised.
Lady Macbeth is another person who can be blamed for the tragedy of Macbeth.
She can be blamed as she also wanted to be famous, have power and to be very Queen as any other person would.
She is very evil and greedy,
Come you spirits¦ unsex me here¦ make thick my blood,
Stop thaccess of remorse¦ .
Here she is using witchcraft and incantations to make her strong and unregretable as she immediately thinks of murdering King Duncan when she receives the letter from Macbeth saying he has just encountered the three witches.
She also wants Macbeth to fulfill his destiny,
What thou art promised;
Yet do I fear thy nature,
It is too full o th milk
Of human kindness .
This quote means that Macbeth is too full of goodness to kill the person he has been loyal to nearly all of his life.
However, I think that the witches are mainly to be blames as they have been most dominent throughout the play. They were in the first scene talking about Macbeth and Scotland right from the start. They were also talking in rhyming cuoplets,
When shall we three meet again
In thunder, lightning, or in rain?¦
Fair is foul, and foul is fair;
Hover through the fog and filthy air .
This means that they are going to meet on a day of a thunderstorm and rain, this is to do with darkness and evil mostly acompanies the colour black darkness.
The weird sisters also made Macbeths ambition and made him driven by it and make sure it is completed. Evil was used by Lady Macbeth when she used some kind of incantation to make her strong, also, they must have made that apparation of the dagger when Macbeth murdered Duncan.
The weird sisters have been responsible for most events in the play. They have also been in control of Macbeth as they filled his mind with greed.
Macbeth thinks he is in control but really the witches have been in control as they basically use him to make people unhappy such as Fleance, Malcolm and like the people of Scotland. I think the witches do this just for fun and get some kind of sick thrill.
I think that the witches are to blame for the tragedies of Macbeth but they couldnt have done it without Macbeth and his companion , Lady Macbeth.
The tragedy of the death of Duncan, Banquo and Macduffs family all lead to the witches via Macbeth and Lady Macbeth.
The ruination of Scotland is due to Macbeth, however he is like a puppet and is being half-controlled by the weird sisters.
This shows that the witches are to blame for the tragedy of Macbeth but also with the help of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth.