A Character Comparison Of Macbeth And Prospero From Shakespeare's Macbeth And The Tempest

899 words - 4 pages

These two Shakespearean characters, Macbeth and Prospero, from Macbeth and The Tempest can greatly compare to one another. From the very beginning, these two men are hard to understand and seem like your average warrior and ruler. Both of these characters are dealing with struggle of power; however, they both deal with this issue in different, interesting ways with different results. At the end of these two plays, we meet two entirely different characters than the ones that we were introduced to from the beginning. In Macbeth and The Tempest by Shakespeare, Macbeth and Prospero, the two main characters have a lot in common and can great compare to one another.
Macbeth, the main character in William Shakespeare’s play Macbeth, is hard to understand throughout the play; as well as Prospero in Shakespeare’s play, The Tempest. From the start it is hard to get a grasp of these characters and what they are like. For example, when you first meet Macbeth, he comes off as the brave, heroic, and oh so capable warrior, but when we witness his interaction with the three witches we realize that there is a whole other side of him that he hides. “I have no spur to prick the sides of my intent, but only vaulting ambition which o’erleaps itself and falls on th’other.” (Act 1 Scene 7) Macbeth struggles with a consuming ambition and a sense of self-doubt. Jamieson says “Our perception of Macbeth as a brave soldier is eroded when we see how easily he is manipulated by Lady Macbeth.” Just like Macbeth, we realize that Prospero’s character is not what he seems. Prospero is a sympathetic character that was wronged by his brother. However, when we first meet Prospero he comes off as a self-absorbed, merciless man, which in turn makes him hard to like. Lee suggests, “Prospero is quite a foreboding character dealing out punishments and treating his servants with contempt, raising questions about his morality and fairness.”
In both of Shakespeare’s plays, Macbeth and The Tempest, the characters deal with a power struggle and both deal with it in their own ways. When Macbeth plots to kill Duncan, his cowardice and self-doubt takes over and he nearly aborts the plan. Bevington describes Macbeth in an interesting way when he states “Macbeth is portrayed throughout the play as an antihero.” However, when Lady Macbeth finds out she insists on doing the deed herself, as she thinks her husband is too soft to finish Duncan off. After the murder, Macbeth feels the need to secure his throne, thus plotting several more murders to ensure his power; however, a sense of guilt consumes him. Prospero, in The Tempest, is much different than Macbeth. The pursuit of knowledge is what gets him in trouble in the first place. By neglecting everyday matters when he was ruler, he gave his brother an opportunity to rise up and challenge him....

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