What are some similarities and differences in these two Shakespearian plays: Hamlet and Macbeth.

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pmiranda2857's profile pic

pmiranda2857 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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The two plays are tragedies, the principal characters both have close encounters with the supernatural.  For Hamlet, the ghost of his father tries to hell him the story of his murder, for Macbeth, the ghost of Banquo just haunts Macbeth with guilt.

Macbeth, a man so full of ambition, that he kills and kills is compared to Hamlet who has no ambition, he struggles to act on his father's murder.  Both characters end up thinking too much, although Macbeth is more action oriented than Hamlet, they both suffer from degrees of madness. 

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gbeatty | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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 There are many similarities and differences between these two plays. In fact, since there are so many of both, we'll start with the basics.Ways they are similar:They deal with royalty.They deal with treachery.They deal with violence, and are marked by numerous deaths.The personal passions of the main characters are tied up with the fates of their nations.There are multi-generational issues and passions involved.Both have supernatural elements. Both have ghosts.  Ways they are different:Hamlet is single and isolated; Macbeth is married and part of a team.Hamlet is indecisive. Macbeth decides—he kills—but must change his plan as things develop.Macbeth must deal with a personalized and confusing prophecy.Hamlet is acted on; Macbeth acts.  

jesshd's profile pic

jesshd | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

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Some similarities between these two plays are that they both have to do with taking the place on the throne, murder and lies to kep your secrets, and no longer caring about the people who you love. A difference is that the women in Hamlet are very passive and listen to what they are told.

davidarchuletalovesme's profile pic

davidarchuletalovesme | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

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I've noticed a lot while reading Hamlet that their are many similarities between the two. There are so many murders going on to take the thrown. So many secrets being hidden from others. In both books, it is all about the power and who gets the power. They both have revenge in effect with different people upset with the fact that that person should not be in power.

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