What are some similarities between the character of Pi (from Life of Pi) and Macbeth?

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sullymonster's profile pic

sullymonster | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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"The smell of blood filled my nose. Something in me died then that has never come back to life" (Chapter 90).

Pi says this in the moment when he fully loses his innocence, when the Frenchman climbs into his boat and a fight to survive commences. As Pi tells the story, Richard Parker kills the Frenchman—but whether this is a literal truth or a way of Pi explaining what he himself has done for survival, the end result is the same. The Frenchman is dead, Pi is able to feed off of him to live, and Pi's innocence is gone. Although alive, he feels something in him has died.

"Still it cried, “Sleep no more!” to all the house.
“Glamis hath murdered sleep, and therefore Cawdor
Shall sleep no more. Macbeth shall sleep no more” (2.2.42-44).
Macbeth is bemoaning his own actions in killing Duncan.  Although not done for survival—Macbeth kills out of ambition —his words after the killing echo Pi's thoughts. The act of murder has ended Macbeth's innocence; he feels he shall "sleep no more" because he is no longer holy and can no longer rest with a clear conscience. Something has died in Macbeth, as it did in Pi, and it will remain dead. Pi loses only his innocence, but Macbeth loses both his innocence and his humanity, as he goes on a killing spree in an effort to hold onto his power.
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allyson's profile pic

allyson | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Assistant Educator

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That's a tough question! I suppose you could argue that both Pi and Macbeth are introduced as rather innocent characters, but  through their journeys become more ruthless.

When we meet Pi, he is searching for truth, yet he is still a boy, who cannot understand why he cannot be three different religions at the same time. Through his journey, he must embrace a brutal lifestyle, killing anything that threatens his life, just to survive on the boat with the tiger.

When we meet Macbeth, he is an adult, but also rather naive. He begins as a faithful servant to his King and a noble soldier. When the witches tell him that he will be the next king, Macbeth does not believe them because he never thought about it before. But as his ambition grows, so does his ruthlessness. Macbeth sacrifices all that he once cherished for power. He allows his wife to go mad and murders everyone else that tries to overthrow him.

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mesweet's profile pic

mesweet | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

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thx a million...it was a gr8 help...thx again...ny more ideas???