What are some comparisons between Macbeth and Brave New World?

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mstultz72 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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Macbeth and Brave New World have the following in common:

  • A tragic hero: Macbeth is ruled too much by ambition and the occult; John is ruled by his inability to reconcile the past and present worlds.  Both die as a result of these tragic flaws.
  • Suicide as a mark of guilt and fateful choices: Lady Macbeth kills herself because of the guilt in Duncan's murder; John kills himself because of the guilt of overindulging in soma and orgy-portgy.
  • A conflict between the natural and supernatural / unnatural world: Macbeth subverts the natural order by using the witches (supernatural) as advisors; John escapes the natural world (the Savage Reservation) and is thrown into the unnatural world of the Brave New World.
  • A caste/class system in which women, in particular, are victimized: In Macbeth, Lady Macbeth must live vicariously through her husband.  The witches are the bottom of the social ladder.  Lady Macduff, too, is powerless.  In Brave New World, the women, Linda and Lenina in particular, are playthings to men.  They are second class citizens (Betas to the male Alphas).
  • A subversion of family values and education of children: the Macbeths do not have children and would make terrible parents.  In the play there are bloody children (Macduff), the murdering and attempted murdering of children (Banquo's and Macduff's sons), and Lady Macbeth's admission that she would dash her baby's brains out.  In Brave New World, children are unwanted naturally; instead, their test-tube equivalents are brainwashed to hate education and nature.  Both authors depict dystopias in which children are unloved and unwanted.


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