A Compare And Contrast Between Characters From Shakespeare’s Macbeth & The Tempest

887 words - 4 pages

If you have read through Shakespeare’s plays, you’ll come to realize that many of the characters have similar traits or situations. Although some can be compared to one another, they are also very different in their own ways. The play Macbeth is about a man whose attempts to seize power ruin his life. Tempest is about a man who uses magic to reconcile with his brother of past disagreements. The main characters Macbeth from Macbeth and Prospero from Tempest are similar because both want power, but different in the ways that they gain authority, and the initial sources of control.
To begin, Macbeth from the play Macbeth and Prospero from the Tempest are similar because both want power. In Macbeth’s case, he and his friend Banquo hear a prophecy from three witches, “All hail, Macbeth! Hail to thee, thane of Glamis! All hail, Macbeth, hail to thee, thane of Cawdor! All hail, Macbeth, thou shalt be king hereafter!” (Act 1, scene 3, lines 149-15) After receiving this news, Macbeth does in fact become thane of Cawdor, which confirms that the witches were telling the truth. Because of this, he becomes greedy for power and wants to become king right away. In Prospero’s case, he was the rightful Duke of Milan but had been sent adrift in a boat with his three year old daughter, Miranda, by his usurping brother, Antonio. (“The Tempest” Encyclopedia Britannica) Prospero says he used to be the Duke of Milan until his brother, Antonio, betrayed him and stole the dukedom, with the consent of the King, while Prospero was busy learning magic in his library, which wasn’t his real job. (Shmoop Editorial Team) Because the dukedom was taken from him, Prospero wanted to be duke again and reconcile with his brother.
In addition, Macbeth and Prospero are also different in the ways they gain authority. In order to steal the throne from King Duncan, Macbeth murders him. Power can make people so hungry for dominance and influence that they may not make rational decisions. Macbeth shows how power can harm one’s sense of security. Macbeth, the central character, lets his greed for power consume him and forces him to make decisions that he may not have made. (Jones) In contrast, Prospero regains control by using magic and his magical friend, Ariel. According to Encyclopedia Britannica, Ariel appears to Alonso and Antonio as a harpy and reproaches them for their treatment of Prospero. Alonso has a change of heart and Prospero is convinced that they are repentant, and reconciles all and prepares to return to Milan to reclaim his throne. (Bevington) Alonso even ends up saying, “Thy dukedom I resign and do entreat, thou pardon me my wrongs.” (Act 5, scene 1, lines 125-126) All in all, Macbeth uses force while Prospero uses magic to get what he wants.
Finally, Macbeth and...

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