How does Odysseus of Homer's The Odyssey compare and contrast with Macbeth of Shakespeare's Macbeth? Please focus on the characters' personalities.

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shake99 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There isn’t a whole lot of similarity between Macbeth and Odysseus. You could probably say that they both suffer from a bit of vanity. Odysseus likens himself to a god for his role of the defeating the Trojans in the Trojan War. This angers Poseidon, who condemns Odysseus to years of wandering before he finally makes it back home. Macbeth’s vanity is evident in his desire to be crowned King, which leads to his eventual downfall.

They are different in that Odysseus is essentially an honorable man who tries to do right by his men, although he ends up losing them all. Macbeth, on the other hand, has his friend Banquo murdered to protect himself.