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In Shakespeares Macbeth Macbeth and his wife Lady Macbeth are both examples of tragic heroes who possess a tragic flaw According to Websters dictionary a tragic flaw is defined as a flaw in character that brings about the downfall of the hero of a tragedy Macbeth held within his character the flaw of ambition as well as moral weakness and selective perception which all eventually contributed to his untimely death In Lady Macbeths case the main fault that brought about her destruction and final suicide was greed along with an ignorance andor repression of the emotions that contradicted this desire Both characters began in high positions and throughout the play accumulated losses caused by their own weaknesses in personality There is already evidence of Macbeths inborn ambition in the beginning of the play in the fact that he holds a high position as the Thane of Glamis and is an acclaimed general in the army things which are typically not acquired without the presence of a desire for them Hence the term ambition can be applied to this want of greatness There is further evidence of this trait in his reaction to the first prophecies of the three witches While many others would have avoided talking to witches for their obvious affiliation with evil Macbeth hears what they have to say and responds with curiosity saying Stay you imperfect speakers Tell me more Iiii73 This is also an example of his other flaw which is that he hears what is beneficial to his ulterior motives At this point in the play Macbeths ambition is in a controlled state and is harming neither him nor others In the next scene however there is indication of a slight overstepping of boundaries when King Duncan gives Macbeth the title of Thane of Cawdor and announces his son Malcolm as the Prince of Cumberland or the next in line to the throne Macbeth
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