This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

In The Plays Macbeth And King Lear, Shakespeare Shows His Characters As Cruel And Lacking The Common Feelings Of Humanity, Through Their Characteristics Of Betrayal, Selfishness, And Greed.

1336 words - 5 pages


In society and in literature evil characters share many of the same traits to portray their heartlessness and cruelty. Shakespeare, as well as many other authors portrays their evil characters as entirely cruel and lacking of the common feeling for humanity. Using clear descriptive scenarios, Shakespeare gives the reader a clear depiction of what is truly within the mind of an evil character. In history, and in present we have learned about people in our society with the same evil characteristics that Shakespeare so vividly describes in his novels, through their actions and thoughts. In the plays Macbeth and King Lear, Shakespeare shows his characters as cruel and lacking the common feelings of humanity, through their characteristics of betrayal, selfishness, and greed.

Betrayal is used many times by Shakespeare to portray evil characters in his works. Two very famous works that portray betrayal include Macbeth and King Lear . In Shakespeare's play Macbeth Ross tells Mcduff that his castle has been ransacked and that his wife and children had been killed. "Your castle is surprised; your wife and babes Savagely slaughtered. To relate the manner, Were, on the quarry of these murder'd deer, To add the death of you" (IV, iii, 207-210). Through this quote we know that the evil character of Macbeth is responsible for this, by betraying his friend and trying to kill him. This is because the witches prophecies tell him to be aware of Mcduff, so he sends people to kill him, but they end up killing his wife and children instead. In the play King Lear Edmond plots against his brother by forging a letter to get him in trouble with the king so that he loses the air to the throne. Edmond says " Never, my lord. But I have heard him oft maintained to be fit that, sons at perfect age, and fathers declined, the father should be as ward to the son, and the son manage his revenue" (I, ii, 75). Edmond, after giving Gloucester the forged letter says these things to betray his own brother and take the thrown for himself. In today's society, president Bush told the people of America that they had to go to war in Iraq, because the people there posed a direct threat to their national security. After investigating, they found out that there were no weapons of mass destruction, and that Iraq had no military capabilities. "Bush was wrong, falsely claiming that Iraq, under Saddam Hussein ... somehow constituted a long term threat to our national security and was an extreme danger to the world. Despite the absence of any weapons of mass destruction or offensive military capability." (Zunes). Bush lied for an excuse to get in Iraq to start a war, betraying the trust of the American people. As seen in Shakespeare's plays, and in real world events, betrayal is a main characteristic of evil.

Selfishness is used by Shakespeare to portray evil within his characters. This characteristic is seen in his plays Macbeth...

Find Another Essay On In the plays Macbeth and King Lear, Shakespeare shows his characters as cruel and lacking the common feelings of humanity, through their characteristics of betrayal, selfishness, and greed.

A Consideration of the Way Shakespeare Presents and Develops the Theme of Blindness in King Lear

2328 words - 9 pages A Consideration of the Way Shakespeare Presents and Develops the Theme of Blindness in King Lear Introduction ============ Throughout ‘King Lear’, Shakespeare uses the play’s characters to make judgements on society using blindness as a metaphor that runs through the play. He does this in a number of ways portraying characters that can be fooled by others’ flattery, or are easily manipulated or deceived, or

Greed in King Lear, by William Shakespeare, and Robinson Crusoe, by Daniel Defoe

868 words - 3 pages well and he is no longer plagued with, what appears to be, bad luck, as Crusoe’s greed for money and higher status was ultimately, the cause of his misfortunes. The theme of greed was one heavily set into both The Tragedy Of King Lear and Robinson Crusoe. Both of the stories showed how greed, although one may succeed in satisfying their greed, would be punished. If it were not for the greed of many of the stories characters, none of them would

Shakespeare's Macbeth - Ambition inevitably leads to selfishness and greed

959 words - 4 pages to commit horrible acts in order to fulfill their ambitious goals. In the beginning of act one, Shakespeare portrayed Macbeth as a brave and honorable general who received high praises and admiration from everyone around him. This praise even included the king of Scotland, King Duncan, who honored Macbeth for his triumphant defeat of the Norwegian rebel, MacDonwald. In scene three of act one, the three weird witches approached

King Lear - Edgar plays many roles throughout the play and performs a wide range of functions. What is the purpose of his role playing?

677 words - 3 pages After reading King Lear and studying the role of Edgar at some length, it is hard not to be disappointed with the outcome of Edgar's role. He performs so many roles and functions that he seems to just be a 'plot device'. Not much time was spent by Shakespeare on establishing Edgar's qualities and virtues prior to starting him off on his journey of role playing.Through this role playing it is possible to detect progression in Edgar's character as

The Flaws that Lead to the Downfall of Othello and Macbeth in the Plays by William Shakespeare

1091 words - 5 pages Compare the Ways that Shakespeare Presents and Develops the Flaws that lead to the Downfall of Othello and Macbeth In the two plays both Macbeth and Othello have weaknesses that bring them astray this deteriorates their personality. Macbeth’s weakness is portrayed through his ambition, whereas Othello’s weakness is portrayed through his jealousy. Macbeth from the very start is described as a “good guy”… and he is also represented as a brave

Shakespeare: A Comparison Of The Role Of Women In His Plays, And In Society At The Time

2041 words - 9 pages , manipulate, or obsess all the men in the play - not only Hamlets father, Hamlets son, and Claudius but also Polonius and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. We can look at Ophelia's madness as dramatically and psychologically revelatory, and not just pretty and passive. Ophelia presents to the court of Elsinore fragmented images of her own desires for Hamlet and her fears of his sexual betrayal ("Men will do't if they come to't/By Cock, they are to blame

Similarities in Main Characters of Shakespeare´s Richard the Third and Macbeth

1361 words - 5 pages William Shakespeare’s Richard III and Macbeth, one a historical play, and the other a tragedy respectfully, are two of Shakespeare’s plays that embody several similarities. The most evident similarities in the two plays are the number of shared characteristics between the two main characters for which the plays are named, Richard of Gloucester (Richard III), and Macbeth. Both men are soldiers, attain the throne through a series of murders, and

Comparision of the tragic characters in Othello and King Lear in accordance with aspects of a tragic character

1842 words - 7 pages playwright of the 17th century, composed many tragedies, including King Lear and Othello, which exemplified the characteristics of a tragic hero outlined by Aristotle. The main characters in King Lear and Othello share many of the traits essential to tragic characters, yet they differ in their specific actions taken.At the start of the two plays, both King Lear and Othello are presented as men of a high rank and importance. Othello is presented as a

Romeo and Juliet -- Actions and Consequences of Many Characters of the Play and their effects of the plays outcome

1611 words - 6 pages fighting about. The hatred of each other has been embedded in the minds of the families so much that there has been three brawls in the streets and many lives have been lost. Family members and those linked to the families had the hatred embedded in their minds so much, that the decisions they made resulted in serious consequences for either the character who committed the action or other characters in the play. A character in the play sent a

Humanity In King Lear

1088 words - 4 pages what a human can suffer. Lear as a main character in this play demonstrates many circumstances that a human can endure. Even through Lear banishes Cordelia, she still loves him and dies trying to save him from her sisters. Goneril and Regan's betrayal, displays the evil and greed that humanity can be capable of. Lear's insanity exhibits the greatest example of what it is to be human because he suffers like a common man.Works Cited Horowitz, David

Shakespeare - The portrayal of universal themes in "King Lear"

1304 words - 5 pages Gloucester being stripped of his power serves as a metaphor for the passing on of the baton. It is with this transference of power from the fathers to their siblings that Shakespeare associates this with the destruction or the death of the family. With this transference also comes the process of wish fulfillment or the death of both Gloucester and Lear in the subsequent scenes. Shakespeare through the use of textual integrity and the juxtaposing of

Similar Essays

Essay On King Lear, By Shakespeare. A Discussion Of Three Characters And Their Roles In The Play

693 words - 3 pages EnglishKing lear essayIn the beginning of the play, Kent is the voice of reason as well as a sort of prophet. He foresees Lear's madness, and he foresees the trouble that will come from dividing the kingdom between his two eldest daughters and banishing Cordelia. He tells Lear that Cordelia does not love him the least, and that he is being foolish and irrational. He is the only one who dares to get in Lear's face about this, saying:Let it fall

Discuss The Presentation Of Kingship In The Play "Macbeth", By Shakespeare, Considering The Characters Of Duncan, King Edward And Macbeth

1377 words - 6 pages Shakespeare wrote the play, "Macbeth", for King James VI of Scotland. The story is in fact base on Scottish history and therefore King James could relate to it well as it was about his ancestors: Banquo and Fleance, though, whom he inherited, the throne of Scotland. Shakespeare has evidently flattered his King throughout the play, for example in the witches' scene with Macbeth where they show him the apparitions of Banquo's heirs. In this

Tragic Heroes In The Plays Of Shakespeare Are Great Men And Not Common People

880 words - 4 pages One interesting thing that can be noted in the tragic heroes of Shakespeare is that only great men are termed as tragic heroes. The tragedies of Shakespeare are not tragedies of common man but it is the tragedy of people of great heroism and this can be seen in both Macbeth and Othello. The fact that both plays bear the name of the titular hero shows the greatness of these protagonists. Macbeth as well as Othello are qualified as man of great

King Lear Discuss The Role Of The Fool In King Lear And His Function In The Unfolding Of The Plot

687 words - 3 pages In 'King Lear', the Fool is a character of dramatic importance in the play. The Fool helps the reader, and in Shakespeare's time would help the audience, to understand what lies beneath the surface of certain actions or verses. He equally strives to make Lear 'see'. The Fool may be a very intriguing character and very often a complicated one but his role is necessary in 'King Lear'.The Fool plays three major roles; one of these roles is that of