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Archetypes in MacBeth

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Eva Jones

on 27 March 2014

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Transcript of Archetypes in MacBeth

Throughout the Shakespere's play Macbeth, there are a variety of archetypes. Each one is an important part of the story which provides the reader, or in this case viewer, a way to connect and understand each of the characters.
Different types of Archetypes
Macbeth and Archetypes
The Wise Man, The Temptress and The Mentor
The Wise Man - Banquo
The Tragedy
Criteria for a Tragedy
The Hero and The Villain
The Hero - Macbeth
By Eva Jones
Archetypes in Macbeth
- The Hero
-The Villain
- The Wise old Man
- The Mentor
- The Outcast
- The Temptress
- Good VS Evil
- The Fall
- The Tragedy
At the start of the play, Macbeth is a simple solider who seems content enough with his place in society, but, after the prophecy he receives from the three witches, Macbeth acquires a sort of tunnel vision focusing only on the idea of becoming king and obtaining power. With the added manipulation of his wife, Macbeth makes a bold move and ultimately goes on a sort of homicidal power trip. Macbeth is more of a tragic hero than the typical save-the-world hero. He had the potential to become a great and productive part of his society, but instead his ambition becomes the death of him.
The Villain -The Three Witches
In the play
Macbeth
, the villain would be seen as the three witches. The witches are the manipulators behind the each event leading up
Macbeth's
climactic and tragic ending. "While some might argue that Macbeth would be the villain because of the violent crimes he commits, the witches are what led to his demise (Archetype Analysis)." The witches set the stage when they initially gave Macbeth and Banquo their prophecies. This ultimately lead to Macbeth's idea to murder a long list of people in an attempt to get to the throne.
In Shakespere's
Macbeth
, Banquo can be described as being the wiser and more mentally stable of the play's characters. When the witches first come to Macbeth and Banquo with their prophecies, Banquo handles his with a sort of cavalier attitude. He appears un-phased by this temptation of power and instead, decides to let the chips fall where they may. Even after Banquo's ghost returns after his death, he never cruelly or attempts to seek out vengeance.
The Temptress and The Mentor - Lady Macbeth
Lady Macbeth can be described as both the temptress and or the mentor. Lady Macbeth is the person who uses Macbeth's love for her as a way of guilting him and manipulating him into doing what she thinks is necessary for gaining power. She also acts as a sort of mentor in the way that she manipulates and molds him into a man capable of murder for their own selfish reasons.
According to Frye, a literary critic, there are certain criteria that a play must meet in order to be considered a Tragedy. "He argues:

- the hero must be in isolation

- through his trials and tribulations, he must reach some measure of self-knowledge and grace

- a play must exhibit a cornerstone of wisdom in its theme or conclusion

- remind the reader of three things: the unpredictability of fate, the link between strengths and weaknesses, and the capacity for sorrow to dignify us (Archetype Analysis)"
Macbeth ultimately isolates him self from everyone by either murder or intimidation. Everyone except his wife is either dead or gone from his life and even at the end of the play, Macbeth abandons his wife to go fight. Soon after going off to fight, Macbeth is killed by a man who is not born of a woman and is defeated. This provides the reader with the wisdom of knowing what happens to those who become caught up in their own selfish pursuits of power. "And perhaps this is the ultimate truth to the tragedy. When decency and good will give way to wickedness and evil, life loses its meaning. It can be no more than a tiresome monotony, a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and furry, signifying nothing (Lehnhof)."
Work Cited
Archetype Analysis. 2014. 09 Mar. 2014. <http://hamletvsmacbeth5.wikispaces.com/Archetype+Analysis>.

Lehnhof, Kent. "Insight to a Tragedy - Macbeth." Orange, 14 July 2011. 11 Mar. 2014. <
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