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Compare the ways in which Macbeth and Frankenstein are presented as flawed heroes.

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Introduction

Compare the ways in which Macbeth and Frankenstein are presented as flawed heroes. Neither Macbeth or Frankenstein are monsters, in fact at the start of their stories (in a time sense) both show acts of courage and loyalty, this however is destroyed by their vaulting ambitions. Frankenstein is keen to have power over nature, and conquer death by creating life however he creates a monster that should not live, this then destroys his loved ones and eventually Frankenstein. Macbeth also has a huge ambition and moves from a trustworthy valiant warrior to a murderer full of deceit who destroys every threat to become king and remain king. Macbeth by Shakespeare conforms to many of Aristotle's characteristics of a tragic hero, where the hero starts heroic but has a major flaw which destroys him. Whereas Frankenstein is created on the back of fears to Galvanism in the 19th century and the main character is the representative of the scientists. The structure of Frankenstein makes it evident that his tale will be a cautionary one as he retells the story of his misguided mission. Frankenstein can be viewed as a flawed character from the start as he is seen through Walton's eyes as a destroyed being which is emphasized when compared to the monster. ...read more.

Middle

Shakespeare was also very quick to identify Macbeth's flaw as he immediately realises after the witches prophecy that murdering Duncan is the fastest way to the throne within the same scene "murder yet is but fantastical". Although the murder to Macbeth seems "fantastical" at the start within another 67 lines he is actively plotting the murder. Macbeth is much more self aware in his wrong doing and evilness while Frankenstein is so absorbed in his creation that he fails to see his flaw. Macbeth's soliloquy in Act 2 scene 1 lines 33-61 show that he is not comfortable in murdering Duncan when he speaks of his "vaulting ambition, which o'erleaps itself" but cannot resist the attraction of becoming King. Frankenstein on the other hand was completely taken over by his ambition and would go to any length to get it, "Who shall conceive the horrors of my secret toil" but even more alarming "had lost all soul or sensation for this one pursuit" in a "passing trance". This makes Frankenstein seem less evil as he seemed to have no choice of what he was doing because of the "frantic impulse that urged" him forward. Frankenstein tries to make up for his mistake by trying to first negotiate with the monster, and finally to try to kill the monster, "I sware... ...read more.

Conclusion

The darkness shows that Macbeth has entered a world of horror and nightmare, and as the darkness increases around Macbeth it shows him slowly becoming more and more evil until finally he is driven insane. Both Macbeth and Frankenstein are presented as flawed heroes, with both noble at the start however both destroyed by their one major fault. Macbeth especially started off as very noble with his delayed entrance creating a sense of ore before he entered the stage. He was described with associations to light at the start of the play however as the play went on there were more connotations of darkness as he became more immoral. From the start Frankenstein life was always a cautionary tale as the book started off with Frankenstein almost destroyed, so throughout the book his acts of nobleness seemed lesser. Again in Frankenstein there were associations with light and darkness, the light often God-like was Frankenstein's ambition however the darkness was what actually occurred. Both Frankenstein and Macbeth's flaws was their ambition, Macbeth however was much more self-aware of his ambition and the effects of it however he could not resist it. A big difference between Frankenstein and Macbeth was the treatment of the lovers, Lady Macbeth was very behind Macbeth's ambition, whereas Elizabeth was not at all behind Frankenstein. This may explain the difference in response between the two heroes, Frankenstein tried to put make up for his mistake, whereas Macbeth accepted in and continued in his evil ways. Jonny Carr ...read more.

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