Compare and Contrast Macbeth and King Lear

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Taylor
Hannah's British Lit
12/17/12

Macbeth and King Lear

Macbeth and King Lear are characters that are most definitely not sympathetic in any way. This

because they ruled in a intimidating way along with their own selfish interests. They both have no

sympathy from anyone because they have no ability to rule. They are greedy selfish men who have too

much power and not enough brains to rule. They became tragic figures but in separate ways, Macbeth

through his need for power and King Lear through his pride and needing to be loved by everyone.

King Lear had this obsession with knowing what everyone thought about him, even if it was a

lie. People would often lie about how they felt about him for fear of him banishing them. King Lear

had a strange view on what love was. He thought that the only to show affection was by being told how

that person felt. Macbeth was not one to care as much as Lear. That was not a huge part of the play like

King Lear's was. Macbeth's main flaw was that he was too power hungry unlike King Lear. Lear was

far too prideful to be able to rule a kingdom, he put himself first over everyone else. A quality that a

good king does not posses. Macbeth did not posses any good king qualities as well, he was too worried

about someone else getting the throne rather then worrying about the people he was ruling. He was

paranoid and that caused him too murder. Lear did not murder anyone, but what he did was still bad.

A similarity between the two is that they are both the reason for their downfall. However, there

is a difference in how they caused it. King Lear caused it by dividing it between his daughters, Goneril

and Albany. Both evil, but he let his pride get in the way of seeing it. Macbeth caused his downfall by

being paranoid and by murder. Dividing a kingdom and murder is too different things, but caused a

similar out come.
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