I am to compare and contrast good vs. evil in Macbeth and Hamlet, while making one connection to another literary work. Ideas, answers, ANYTHING is appreciated. Needs to be finished by tomorrow. PLEASE HELP.
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I think that since both plays are about ambition, you could definitely focus on Claudius's motives and Macbeth's motives. Both wanted to be king. Both killed the king. Cluadius married the queen too, which might have been worse. I am not sure what Macbeth might have done if Duncan had a queen as successor. He might have done the same thing Claudius did and kill the king and marry the queen.
In each case, you could also focus on the sons. Malcolm and Hamlet have a lot in common. Both are intelligent but sensitive. Both are young, and still not ready for the burden of being king.
In Macbeth, the man himself is evil, motivated by greed and position. So too, is his wife, as his been pointed out. For a different take on Hamlet, consider the same factors as motivators not only for Claudius, but also for Polonious and Guildenstern (and to some extent, Rosencratz.) Take a look at the lessons I've written on Hamlet for more information. Just go to http://blogs.enotes.com/literature-101/.
As to connecting to other works, how about some modern connection to wow your teacher! How about Star Wars, or Lord of the Rings? Or "The Kite Runner"?
To help you write your paper, you might want to check out this instructional step-by-step process, "How to Write a Compare-and-Contrast Essay":
Claudius and Macbeth are interesting examples. They are both kings who did not rightly earn the title. They both show murderous tendencies, which is evil, but also remorse, which shows good. A similar situation is in Oedipus Rex, with a tormented king that can at times be a tyrant and at times be sympathetic. Consider also Odysseus. Although he is the rightful king, his behavior shows elements of tyranny. And yet, he is the hero of the story.
In Macbeth, the witches are definitely evil. They demonstrate this through their ingredients in the cauldron, and also with the fact that they enjoy messing around with the lives of humans (the sailor and his wife, Macbeth, etc.).
Lady Macbeth is definitely evil. Once she hears of the prophecies of the witches, she latches on and helps carry her husband to his doom.
Without the witches to plant the seed and his wife to nurture it, Macbeth probably wouldn't have acted on any of this and would have been content to wait for Fate "without my stir" to make him King. He was noble, honorable, and trustworthy at the play's beginning and probably would have ended that way.
In Hamlet, the ghost is not evil. So there are differences in the use of the supernatural to carry the plot along. The ghost simply returns to inform young Hamlet of the situation, to request revenge on the present King, and to treat Gertrude nicely.
Claudius is definitely evil. He kills his own brother, plots to kill his nephew/son, and involves others in the plot, thus bringing them down. In the end, he is responsible for many deaths including Gertrude's and Laertes'.
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