How are Doctor Faustes and Macbeth related? What comparrisons are there in the two plays?

Expert Answers
Payal Khullar eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Macbeth by William Shakespeare and Doctor Faustus by Christopher Marlowe have one key similarity, i.e. both are Elizabethan tragedy plays.

Macbeth and Faustus- the tragic heroes in these plays, respectively, show one tragic flaw and this flaw leads to downfall/damnation of both of them in the end of the play. In case of Macbeth, it is his unwarranted ambition and in case of Doctor Faustus, it is his extreme pride and thirst for more knowledge.

Faustus kills or gives away his own soul for magical, divine powers (well, in a way knowledge is power!) and Macbeth murders the king and several others for the empire, authoritarian power.

Both are misguided. Macbeth is ill advised by the three witches and Lady Macbeth, whereas Mephistopheles and devils tempt Faustus to the wrong path. Both Macbeth and Faustus sacrifice their conscience but gain nothing that they expected they would.