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In William Shakespeare's plays Hamlet and Macbeth there are many similarities, along with many differences.

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Introduction

In William Shakespeare's plays Hamlet and Macbeth there are many similarities, along with many differences. For starters both plays are named after the main characters. Although sharing many similar themes (such as a murderous king and those who wish to overthrow him) Young Hamlet and Macbeth themselves are quite different from each other. The first difference that leaps out when one looks back after reading both plays, is that the two main characters play different roles in their respective stories. In Macbeth, Macbeth himself was the antagonist in the story: the "bad guy" so to speak. He began as a loyal servant of the king, but his greed, stoked by his wife and left unchecked by his conscience led to his murder and betrayal of not only the king, but also his former friend and comrade Banquo, and the family of his friend Macduff. Hamlet on the other hand, was the protagonist in his story: the "good guy" whom the reader wants (or at least whom Shakespeare planned for them to want) to succeed in the end. He was also a murderer, but for a different reason. ...read more.

Middle

He allowed his greed to manifest itself in the upper tiers of his mind instead of pushing it back like he had before. When he took this avarice to the point of murder, it snowballed out of control down a hill that ultimately ended with him dead. Hamlet's flaw on the other hand was even more tragic, because it was perhaps "the right thing to do." Hamlet let his lust for vengeance go too far though and it blinded him to the dangers that were lurking around him. By rashly killing Polonius, he showed his hand too soon, and made an enemy of Laertes, the man who ultimately killed him. Although there are many differences in both plays, Shakespeare used the same elements of tragedy. Most of his tragedies can be easily compared , especially Macbeth and Hamlet. These particular Shakespearean tragedies use supernatural incidents to intrigue the reader's interest. Macbeth immediately started with a supernatural scene. The three witches set the somber and evil tone of the plot by prophesizing that Macbeth would be the Thane of Cawdor, and then later become king. In Hamlet, Shakespeare also presented a supernatural occurrence close to the opening scenes. ...read more.

Conclusion

Macbeth, most likely was the last-written of the four great Shakespearian tragedies. In my opinion Shakespeare's final style appears for the first time completely formed, and the transition to this style is much more decidedly visible in Macbeth than in Hamlet. Yet in certain respects Macbeth recalls Hamlet. In both plays the heroes' transit from thought to critical resolution and action is difficult, and excites the keenest interest. The particular popularity of Hamlet and Macbeth is due in part to some of these common characteristics, especially to the fascination of the supernatural, the absence of the spectacle of extreme undeserved suffering, the absence of characters which horrify and repel and yet are destitute of majesty. The reader who looks reluctantly at Iago gazes at Lady Macbeth in awe, because though she is dreadful she is also morally worthy. The whole tragedy is inspirational. Macbeth makes an impression quite different from that of Hamlet. The dimensions of the principal characters, the rate of movement in the action, the supernatural effects, the style, the versification, are changed; and they are all changed in the same manner. In many parts of Macbeth there is a peculiar compression, significance, energy, even violence in the language; it posses a harmonious grace , often conspicuous in Hamlet as well. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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