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Macbeth Essay, Research Paper
Compare and Contrast
the Tragic Flaw(s) of
Macbeth and Oedipus
Macbeth visualized himself as a forceful, powerful
ruler who begins the trilogy in absolute control of the
situation. As the story progresses, however , Macbeths
power and pride are broken down because he made it his
destiny. As for Oedipus, he was a pitiful man who has been
crushed by the avenging gods and fate. He seems to be a
wiser, soberer man, rising majestically above his
When Oedipus the king begins, Oedipus exhibits wisdom,
love for his children and his subjects, and a reputation for
high moral standards. He has a passion for truth, and shows
courage in the face of disaster or conflict. These same
noble qualities, however, also lead to his inevitable tragic
downfall. His wisdom becomes self-righteousness, and he
refuses to see that he s married his own mother.
Macbeth, with a distinct character than Oedipus,
possessed his impure wisdom from Lady Macbeth. He had no
love for his friends and his reputation as thane was
degrading. Much like Oedipus, his character lead to his
inevitable tragic downfall.
The one trait of Oedipus that doesn t change in the
course of the play is his strength and courage in the face
of disaster. As the net of guilt tightens on him with each
revelation about the truth, Oedipus grew stubborn in finding
closure to the prophecy. When Macbeth found out about his
prophecy, he deliberately seek his position as thane in an
Every step Oedipus takes to solve the mystery of Laios
murder brings him closer to self-exposure, yet he never
hesitates to pursue that truth. When the last piece of the
puzzle falls into place, Oedipus the detective has become
Oedipus the criminal. But his courage and strength help him
endure the pain and suffering that come with knowledge of
what he has done.
Oedipus search for the truth leads him to the
discovery that he isn t a child of Luck, but a man of
misfortune. His fate was determined years before his
birth, as proven by the prophecy of the oracles. All he can
do is live out his destiny, but he does this with such
dignity and heroism that he shows there is nobility even in
suffering and despair. Oedipus can be assume as a notable
man for blinding himself and Macbeth was known as a taint
Oedipus has shown what it means to endure in the face
of certain defeat. He has shown what it takes to survive in
a world that is ruled by unpredictable fate. He has shown
the true meaning of suffering and despair. He earns my
respect and sympathy when he chooses to live rather than
die, and make his life an example to others of how guilt and
pride may lead to self knowledge.
Macbeth messed with his own destiny by holding an
untrue position as thane. The impression he left was a
cynical man with no dignity as a human. His tragic death
was cause by his eager schemes and redundant murder scenes.
His death was inevitable and if the story wasn t going to
end his life with tragedy, I would have wish them to do so.
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