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...