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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

immoral way.

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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