Macbeth Essay

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[Shanley considers the tragic context of Macbeth's evil actions in an attempt to determine whether or not his downfall warrants sympathy or arouses fe at the end of the play. The critic maintains that Macbeth has a fundamentally different experience from Shakespeare's other great tragic heroes: he does not achieve a great recovery in the end because his actions throughout the play were ignoble. Shanley suggests, however, that Macbeth's end is perhaps more tragic than that of the other heroes because he ultimately loses himself to a degree that none of them does. According to the critic, our pity for Macbeth might therefore lie in the fact that by declaring that life signifies nothing, he acknowledges "the almost complete destruction of the human spirit" Shanley also observes that our ability to pass judgment on the hero's ruin is further complicated by several factors. While it is true that...

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This section contains 4,400 words
(approx. 11 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Macbeth Study Guide
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Shakespeare for Students
Macbeth from Shakespeare for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.