Macbeth, the tragic hero of Shakespeare’s play Macbeth, fate came as a product of his fatal flaw, or hamartia. Macbeth’s fatal flaw can be articulated by describing the process of his downfall, beginning with where his story began, when he over-interpreted the witches prophecy: “If good, why do I yield to that suggestion / Whose horrid image doth unfix my hair / And make my seated heart knock at my ribs, / Against the use of nature?” (1.3.147-150). Following hearing the witches prophecy Macbeth becomes unsettled by his conclusion to kill King Duncan, but after he kills Duncan he continues down that path and ultimately is killed because he tries to interpret the witches again.
Macbeth’s hamartia, or fatal character flaw, is his arrogant, prideful attitude and his greed. Throughout act one, Macbeth is a very successful nobleman and he lives a great life. Largely because of his wife, Lady Macbeth, Macbeth’s arrogant attitude shows more and more. He states, “If chance will have me king, why, chance may crown me without my stir” (1.4.157-159). This shows that deep down inside Macbeth, he feels that he is deserving of the crown. No humble man would say that, and often times arrogance and pride can haunt someone forever. His arrogant thoughts of him deserving of being king are what ultimately lead to him killing King Duncan. Macbeth’s greed is also a hamartia. Macbeth is a very successful thane, and he lived in a nice castle, but his already luxurious life wasn’t enough to satisfy him. He wanted more power than he already had, and he would do anything in order to gain power. He ends up killing his best friend Banquo, and the King of Scotland, who was a great king, so he himself could take the throne. -Jess Ford
Hamartia is a fatal flaw leading to the downfall of a tragic hero or heroine. Macbeth’s fatal flaw was his overpowering ambition. In Act One, Scene Three, Line 144-146 Macbeth says, “Cannot be ill, cannot be good/why hath it given me earnest of success commencing the truth?” Macbeth there was referring to the prophecy the witches had told him about becoming the Thane of Cawdor. Macbeth was drawn in by the witches from the truth they had told him. Macbeth was well respected but with the influence of the witches he was taken over by his urge to gain power. He began his murderous path with the killing of Duncan, Macbeth’s friend and king. Macbeth’s ambition and outside influences lead to his moral and physical downfall. Greed, ambition, and arrogance was Macbeth’s hamartia. Once Macbeth saw he could be king, he lost sight if the honest man he was, and began to killing and destroying the lives of everyone that got in his way.