English - Macbeth

I have a little trouble understanding my essay question.

This question is:
Is Macbeth a tragic hero according to the classical definition of the term or is he merely a monster? Does Shakespeare succeed in creating sympathy for Macbeth?

To repsond to this question in an essay, I was thinking to write as though the question just said "Is Macbeth a tragic hero?" Because I don't really know what it means by "according to the classical definition of the term" and is it relevant?

I haven't written an essay in over 2 months and I'm getting rusty already. This is how I was thinking of structuring my essay so far:


Main Body
1st Para: About how he was a tragic hero

2nd Para: A different point on how he was a tragic hero

3rd Para: About how sympathy is created for Macbeth - HE starts off as the 'good guy' and slowly turned bad


And while writing the essay, I'll give exmaples and points to say he WAS a tragic hero, but should I also try and argue why he WASN'T a monster?
I have all the points to say why he was a tragic hero, i.e, he was a noble and loyal general to start with, but his ambition along with the influences of Lady Macbeth and the witches, lead to his tragic death etc.

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  1. I think I get the idea of a tragic hero, but for my essay, should I have a point in there somewhere to argue how he is a tragic monster and not a monster, because the question asks "Is Macbeth a tragic hero.....or a monster?"

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  2. Please reread the question. It seems to me your choice is between these two:

    * Macbeth is a tragic hero.
    * Macbeth is a monster.

    There's no such thing as a tragic monster, as far as I remember!


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  3. sorry, a typo.
    It was meant to say Tragic Hero, not tragic monster

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