This paper examines how Shakespeare's "Macbeth" and Euripides' "Medea" are both tragic plays in the classical sense. It looks at how both Medea and Macbeth lust for the unattainable and how that lust destroys them. It cannot be said which character is a truly tragic figure, because both fit the description. It contends that if either character deserves more sympathy it is Madea, the jilted wife, not Macbeth the King killer since Macbeth's lust for power and his willingness to please his wife leads to his downfall. From the Paper:
"Macbeth is by far one of the greatest of Shakespeare's tragedies. Its images and representations of ambition, guilt and the degradation of being make him a truly tragic character. Macbeth starts out as a pretty-cool guy - he's a Scottish general and a gentleman, but has always wished to be more. It is not until after Duncan's death, that Macbeth truly begins to deteriorate into a faithless and remorseless man. He tells one lie to cover up another, having to commit one murder to cover up the other, until he looks back, and cannot even remember the first little step he took over the line. Only MacDuff, a faithful servant and soldier of Duncan and Malcom, can bring him down, even though the witches have rightfully prophesied that "no man of woman born" could possibly bring down Macbeth's reign of terror."
Well, these three plays all deal with marriage, and demonstrate how wrong things can go when the man and woman occupy unequal positions.
In Medea, her husband Jason leaves her because she is only a barbarian. In order for him to gain power and wealth, Jason instead marries a Greek princess from his own culture. He does this because it is more acceptable to his society, but the result is that Medea takes a terrible revenge and kills the children. The whole institution of marriage, and the means by which society perpetuates and regenerates itself across...