Shakespeare and Chopin

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In one of the William Shakespeare’s greatest plays, Macbeth, we can see an influence years later in Kate Chopin’s novel The Awakening. At the end of the tragedy Lady Macbeth folds under the pressure paralleling some the burdens Edna Pontellier suffers from. Many of Lady Macbeth’s personalities are reflected in Edna. Through the suicidal acts taken by both characters at the conclusion of the books, we can see the how Lady Macbeth influenced Chopin. Macbeth also has a great influence upon the personality of Edna. Edna has a similar battle, hers being between society and her desire to fulfill her sexual desires and be independent. Theses unwritten rules of society determine the fate for both of these characters. Clearly Chopin has taken Shakespeare’s idea of friction between desires and society’s rules can have devastating effects for anyone. The famous quote by Macbeth “Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and Tomorrow…”(Shakespeare 177) also has a major influence upon Chopin’s writing in The Awakening. In this quote Macbeth explains his meaningless life. Throughout the tragedy Macbeth struggles with society and his desire to fulfill want for power. Shakespeare’s tragedy Macbeth has a major inspiration on Chopin and affects her writing in The Awakening. One way we can see the influence of Shakespeare in Chopin is through the rivaled characteristics of Lady Macbeth and Edna Pontellier. Lady Macbeth is a deeply ambitious person who desires power and position. Edna deeply desires to fulfill her sexual wants. Although the desires are not the same we see both woman go behind society’s back not opening how they are to fulfill their desires to the public. At the beginning of the play Macbeth the reader views Lady Macbeth as a relentless person with no weakness but by the end of the play we know that the murders she is covering up from society takes a major toll on her. In comparison Edna is strong when she moves out of her husbands house but is worn down by external forces of her...
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