• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Compare and contrast the presentation of ambition in Steinbecks Of Mice and Men and Shakespeares Macbeth

Extracts from this document...


Compare and contrast the presentation of ambition in Steinbeck?s Of Mice and Men and Shakespeare?s Macbeth Ambition can be defined as the desire for achievement, distinction or the desire for an object and the willingness to strive for it. In Macbeth and Of Mice and Men the protagonists? ambitions are opposites, from the eventual grand desire in Macbeth of becoming king, compared with the simplistic nature of owning a small farm in the height of the Great Depression. These opposites of the protagonists? ambition make it hard to compare ambition itself but more the causes, effects and portrayal of ambition in the two pieces. Firstly the causes of ambition in the two pieces are different. In Macbeth, the causes of ambition are the witches, as they provide Macbeth with a prophesy: ?hail to thee, Thane of Cawdor, All hail, Macbeth that shalt be king hereafter?, which gives him the ideas which form the object of his desires. Contrast this with Steinbeck?s Of Mice and Men and the ambition of the protagonists of owning ?a little house an? a room to ourself?. ...read more.


This makes Macbeth feel guilty as he is not manly enough to complete the task and so in the relationship Lady Macbeth becomes the driving force. This is important as it shows Macbeth?s inability to achieve his ambition by himself. Whereas in Of Mice and Men, there is no on going struggle in George?s head about whether he has the mental strength and commitment to achieve his ambition, as the ambition is simple and so the effects of ambition on the protagonists are different. George changes little as a result of ambition but it could be said that he works harder as he realises what is at stake. Lennie likewise has little change as a result of ambition mainly because of his mental state as he is unaware of things happening around him. On the other hand, there is a similarity between the two pieces, in both pieces, both of the protagonists are needed to help achieve there ambition. In Of Mice and Men, George realises he cannot raise the money to buy his small farm on his own and so enlists the help of Lennie: ?And I get to tend the rabbits, An? you get to tend the rabbits?. ...read more.


So as a result of the hope generated from this ?dream? a new psychological atmosphere appears on the ranch. This is slightly similar to Macbeth, as the effects are also very psychological. The process of committing the murder was chosen by Shakepeare, as it arouses deep feelings and psychological problems for Macbeth. Macbeth says before he commits the deed ?We still have judgement here, that we but teach Bloody instructions, which being taught, return to plague th?inventor?, the thought of what he is about to do has a clear psychological effect on him as he begins to think about what will happen to him on judgement day. So psychological effect are felt in both pieces. So to conclude, the ambitions themselves are too different to be directly compared, but it is the causes, effects and portrayal of ambition that allow one to examine the difference between the two pieces. In Of Mice and Men, ambition can never be achieved; it is just a dream which one strives for. In Macbeth, ambition can be achieved but never enjoyed as Shakespeare never allows his characters to stop and enjoy their achievement. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Macbeth section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Macbeth essays

  1. Macbeth and Hamlet : Compare and Contrast

    satisfying world of themselves, as is the case in every poet and original philosopher:-but hope fully gratified, and yet, the ele-mentary basis of the passion remaining, becomes fear; and, indeed, the general, who must often feel, even though he may hide it from his own consciousness, bow large a share

  2. Macbeth's Dream

    to apply special effects that would be difficult to perform on stage. Throughout the dream there are small images in reality which need to be made bigger to add atmosphere to the dream and there will need to be quick colour changes and at one point there are ghostly figures

  1. Supernatural forces in Shakespeare's

    Had the three sisters not confronted Macbeth with the news of his possible future would he have thought of a deviant plan to murder King Duncan, and better yet, would he have had a future as a king at all?

  2. Make detailed reference to Shakespeare's

    This of course in an evil thing to do, murder is one of the most evil things a person can commit. When the play was written people considered royalty to be God's representative on earth, so killing the king was like killing God, unforgivable.

  1. Versions of Shakespeares Romeo and Juliet

    The boy did not see it through infancy. He then became an actor then began to write plays which are still being performed and studied today. Shakespeare spent all of his life in England and never left it although he wrote plays about different countries. Shakespeare retired from acting, directing and writing into his late forties and stayed in Stratford until he died.

  2. Discuss Shakespeares presentation of the witches in Macbeth.

    Not only is the language used by the witches ugly, but also they are also ugly, being described as "filthy", "withered", "wild and bearded", which is never a good look... Although the director's interpretation of the appearance of the witches alters from play to play, mostly they are associated with ugliness.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work