, Research Paper
Comparing and Contrasting Hamlet and MacBeth
Throughout William Shakespeare s dramas Hamlet and Macbeth there are many similarities, along with many differences. These dramas are both Shakespearean calamities, which frequently use supernatural incidents to fascinate the reader s involvement, and consists of a hero that has a tragic defect. There are many comparative and contrasting facets in these dramas. The gap of Hamlet involves a supernatural, as does the gap of Macbeth. In the first scene the shade of his male parent, King Hamlet, approaches Hamlet. Similarly, the gap of Macbeth involves the three enchantresss. Although the enchantresss can be seen by anyone they approach, the shade of King Hamlet is merely seen by Hamlet himself, and in one scene by Marcellus and Bernardo, Hamlet s retainers. Similarly in both dramas, the chief characters are somewhat leery of the existent powers these supernatural figures have. As the enchantresss use their evident powers to state Macbeth the hereafter, the shade of King Hamlet tells Hamlet what has happened already. Hamlet provinces in one of his monologues The spirit that I have seen / may be the Satan ( 2.2.598-599 ) . Macbeth besides has his uncertainties because when the enchantresss tell him that he will be named Thane of Cawder, Macbeth himself had non known, but many people had. It is possible the enchantresss could hold known. In the same affair in both dramas, the presentation of the supernatural began to take to the concluding ruin of each of the characters. In Macbeth, the three enchantresss cause him to believe and make evil workss. In Hamlet, if he had non seen the shade of his male parent, he would non hold known that Claudius has killed his male parent to claim the throne. In both cases the characters gave into the shrewish supernatural beliefs. And therefore they lost their lives. Other characters in these dramas show analogues in their secret plans. Both
plays have a main character that portrays the king of that country. In Hamlet, the King of Denmark, Claudius is directly related to Hamlet. He is his uncle, and also his mother s new husband. However, in Macbeth the King of Scotland, King Duncan, is not directly related to the main character. Both plays do however, have the main character killing off the king in order to get the throne, which ultimately results in there own death. Horatio, in Hamlet and Banquo, in Macbeth share the same loyalty to the main characters. In both stories these friends are more skeptical of the supernaturals than the main characters themselves. In a meeting with the witches, Banquo challenges them to Speak then to me, who neither beg nor fear / Your favours nor your hate (1.3.60-61). In a scene where Horatio and Hamlet witness the ghost, Horatio tries to keep Hamlet from going with the ghost. He was even reluctant in the opening scene to go with Marcellus to hear about the ghost. Some themes in the plays are also similar. The way that the weeds and flowers illustrate good and bad in Hamlet is like the way the birds do in Macbeth. This is also true of the fair and foul theme in Macbeth and the indirections theme in Hamlet. In Macbeth, to the weird sisters, what is ugly is beautiful, and what is beautiful is ugly. Through the play fair appearances hide foul realities. This theme has a lot in common with the theme in Hamlet where the appearance varies from the reality. In contrast, one of the main themes in Macbeth is Manhood, while in Hamlet it is frailty, and more specifically, the frailty of women. It seems evident that Shakespeare used a strong, similar story line in these two tragedies. Apparently Macbeth and Hamlet are similar stories in numerous ways. These two plays seem different because of the variation in story lines, but in fact are very similar due to the parallel characters and themes.