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Compare and Contrast Macbeth and HamletI must finish this essay by tomorrow. I'm having...

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missmacrae | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted December 11, 2007 at 4:16 PM via web

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Compare and Contrast Macbeth and Hamlet

I must finish this essay by tomorrow. I'm having terrible trouble with it. I need to compare and contrast the character of Macbeth to that of Hamlet.

please help me. just give me some ideas and it would be greatly appreciated.

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luannw | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

Posted December 11, 2007 at 4:37 PM (Answer #2)

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Both Hamlet and Macbeth (the plays) are considered tragedies and both main characters are considered tragic heroes so you might begin there with your comparison.  One of Hamlet's problems in the play is that he takes a long time to seek the revenge he promised his father's ghost that he would seek. He tends to overthink matters.  Macbeth, on the other hand, tends to act very quickly and rashly.  Hamlet is a generally likeable character and dies a heroic death having finally fulfilled the promise to his father's ghost. Macbeth however, dies a far less noble death as he is considered a murderous tyrant by the end of the play.  I suggest that you follow the links below for further help.

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missmacrae | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted December 11, 2007 at 4:42 PM (Answer #3)

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thank you sooooooooo much:)

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alexb2 | eNotes Employee

Posted December 18, 2007 at 1:47 PM (Answer #4)

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One way of looking at it is through the lens of honor. Both Macbeth and Hamlet fight and ultimately are killed, but only one is honorable-- Hamlet. While Macbeth kills many people in pursuit of becoming King, Hamlet delays killing his Uncle because of philosophical concerns and doubts about what is the right thing to do and how to do it. Hamlet finally is able to avenge his father's death, but dies honorably in the process. In contrast, Macbeth also dies, and although he does die in battle on the battlefield it can not be called an honorable death as he has caused the deaths of so many other people purely for his own potential benefit. 

One thing they have in common is that their journeys, both of which end in blood and death, start with something mystical-- Hamlet with the ghost of his father, and Macbeth with the witches. 

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renelane | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted December 21, 2007 at 10:16 AM (Answer #5)

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There are so many ways to contrast the characters! Both Hamlet and Macbeth have characters who appear to have a mental breakdown. However, Hamlet is acting the part to deceive Claudius, while Macbeth has truly gone mad in his lust for power.

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komald95 | Student, Grade 9 | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted December 30, 2007 at 6:31 AM (Answer #6)

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i am sorry for just posting my question here as my question is related to the question above, the question above is comparing macbeth with hamlet whereas my question is please compare macbeth with anything!!..not only hamlet but anything..i need ur help so please give me your answers as soon as possible..

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malibrarian | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

Posted December 30, 2007 at 9:49 AM (Answer #7)

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In response to #6 - with anything?  You could compare Macbeth with other Shakespearean tragedy protagonists, such as Othello or King Lear.  Or if you want to get more modern, you could compare Macbeth to a historical figure, such as Hitler or Stalin from the 20th century.  How is Macbeth like these infamous dictators, and how does he differ?  That would require some additional searching, but the Internet (including eNotes) is full of information about both Hitler and Stalin.

Do you have a specific assignment, or is it just to compare Macbeth to something or someone?  Let us know specifics so we can better help you! :)

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komald95 | Student, Grade 9 | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted December 30, 2007 at 9:12 PM (Answer #8)

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ok...thank you..for a fast reply, actually this is like my assignment in which i can take help(holiday homework), so basically i can compare macbeth with anything i am trying to say, i can compare it with hamlet, othello anything. so i want help from all you guys, you can take anything  and compare macbeth with it telling the differences and similarities between macbeth and whatever you have taken to compare. dont take something really out of this. i mean dont take something that can not be even compared to macbeth but still your trying to compare it by telling the differences and the similarities..you can take something like othello...hitler..or you can read what the person wrote above, he gave some examples about what i can compare macbeth with and even tell the differenes and similarities, so i really need you help! and dont only tell me what i can compare macbeth with, tell me the differences and the similarities!..thankyou, waiting for your reply.

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lfutris | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted February 23, 2009 at 8:27 AM (Answer #9)

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You can discuss how the supernatural elements enhance moral dilemmas that the characters already possess.

It would be easier to compare and contrast Macbeth to Hamlet. Since supernatural elements are found (witches, Banquo's ghost, hallucinations in Macbeth and in Hamlet: his father's ghost wanting him to avenge his death). Also Moral dilemmas prevent Hamlet from muderering Duncan earlier on in the play becasue during that time period revenge was condemned amongst society. In Macbeth Act 2, Macbeth becomes uncertain within his plan to kill Duncan; hosts are suppose to protect their guest from danger not "hold the knife themselves."

You can also discuss the Duel Nature of Men. Macbeth appears loyal as he carries out his plan to kill Duncan, but his "deep and Darkest" desire commences to consume him.

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rawdawg227 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted March 10, 2009 at 7:20 PM (Answer #10)

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i have give 2 similarites and 2 differences of hamlet and macbeth and explain..thats what im having trouble with, is the expaination...can anyone help me with that?

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susan3smith | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

Posted February 25, 2010 at 4:03 PM (Answer #12)

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You  might look the relationship each has with the supernatural. The witches give Macbeth prophecies that he acts upon; Hamlet is given a mandate by his father's ghost that he feels compelled to follow.  Each makes decisions based on these interactions that lead them into evil and eventually assasination of a king.  Does each lose his moral compass as a result of this supernatural interaction?  What role does conscience play in their decisions?  How do these decisions affect themselves and others?  Perhaps these ideas will be enough to get you started.

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misika | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted May 30, 2011 at 4:57 AM (Answer #13)

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Both Hamlet and Macbeth (the plays) are considered tragedies and both main characters are considered tragic heroes so you might begin there with your comparison.  One of Hamlet's problems in the play is that he takes a long time to seek the revenge he promised his father's ghost that he would seek. He tends to overthink matters.  Macbeth, on the other hand, tends to act very quickly and rashly.  Hamlet is a generally likeable character and dies a heroic death having finally fulfilled the promise to his father's ghost. Macbeth however, dies a far less noble death as he is considered a murderous tyrant by the end of the play.  I suggest that you follow the links below for further help.

where is the link?

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audgirl | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted August 16, 2011 at 2:07 PM (Answer #14)

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Hi, my question is also somewhat similar to #6 but it is to compare Hamlet to anything. Most probably to compare it to another production. Please Reply asap! THanks!!

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