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Comparison of MACBETH and OEDIPUS

This is a comparison of the characters Macbeth in Macbeth(play) by Shakespeare and Oedipus in Oedipus The King(play) by Sophocles
by

Dennis Chu

on 19 September 2010

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Transcript of Comparison of MACBETH and OEDIPUS

Literature ACE Comparison of Macbeth and Oedipus Background Oedipus is a king in the classic greek play Oedipus The King by Sophocles. He is the main character of the play, both as a protagonist and an antagonist at different points of time, and is one of the most discussed literary characters in Greek literature. Macbeth is a general-turned-usurper antihero in Shakespeare's famous play, MACBETH. He is also the main character, and also acts as both a protagonist and antagonist over the course of the play. His role in the play has been a topic for debate, and his character is one of the most widely analysed and discussed in english literature. OEDIPUS
Started as the king of Creon, well-loved by subjects
Help sought from him from his subjects
Seeked advice from prophet, Teireisias
Slowly came to know about his heritage
Realised his mistake
Sent himself into exile to save the people of his country MACBETH
Started as a loyal subject of King Duncan, ruler of Scotland
Defeated rebels and invaders, well respected
Met with Witches, harboured thoughts of becoming king himself
Influenced by wife, committed regicide
Slowly pregresses into a moral monster, killing indiscriminately
Finally gets killed by Macduff when it was revealed that he misinterpreted the prophecies Comparison of character

Oedipus is a well loved king at the start of the play
Macbeth is a well loved general at the start of the play

Oedipus loves his people, tries to save them from the plague
Macbeth loves his country, saves it from the traitor MacDonwald and Norweingien invaders

Oedipus does not wish to kill anybody
Macbeth kills Duncan, Banquo, Macduff's wife and children etc. Comparison of discovery of fate Oedipus discovers his fate when he tries to find out the truth about his heritage
The prophet teiresias had warned him not to Pursue his heritage
Oedipus was unwilling to listen
Finally, his fate was revealed to him by the man who had saved him Macbeth discovers his fate when the Three Witches seek him out
He is happy about his fate
However, he wishes that the prophecies will be fulfilled faster
Kills Duncan to make the prophecy come faster
Believes riddle-like prophecies of Witches, thinks he is invincible
At the end, proven that the prophecies were deluding, MAcbeth dies because of this Comparison of wives' roles

Oedipus's wife repeatedly requests him not to pursue the prophecy
Says that the prophecies will only bring him harm
Oedipus does not listen
Jocasta kills herself at the end

Macbeth's wife repeatedly reminds him of the prophecy
Wishes him to act to make the prophecy come true faster
Takes on a big role during the murders
Finally kills herself over her guilt CONCLUSION Both Oedipus and Macbeth have tragic downfalls
Both their downfalls were part fate and part free will
They both have flaws
Oedipus seen as tragic, died a good man
Macbeth seen as retributive, died a hated man Comparison of Flaws

Oedipus:
Intelligence
Pride (Hubris)
Determination

Macbeth:
Greed
Weak-willed
Pride Comparison of flaws' roles in downfall

Oedipus too intelligent, wants to seek out the truth
Does not want to be kept in the dark
Determined to find out his heritage
After knowing his heritage, wants to save people, so exiles himself

Macbeth hears prophecies, wonders at becoming king
Unable to fend off Lady Macbeth's taunts
Too greedy, wants instant fulfilment of the prophecies Comparison of OEDIPUS and MACBETH THANK YOU!
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