How are The Great Gatsby and Macbeth the same?ambition, comparing Daisy and Lady Macbeth, comparing Nick and Banquo, greed, belief system, impatience, blindness, and ignorance. How are these...

How are The Great Gatsby and Macbeth the same?

ambition, comparing Daisy and Lady Macbeth, comparing Nick and Banquo, greed, belief system, impatience, blindness, and ignorance.

How are these simlilar in both stories?

Where are they present in both stories?

Expert Answers
Susan Hurn eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Gatsby and Macbeth shared the belief that they could determine the course of their lives to get what they wanted most. Each believed that his will was strong enough to influence outcomes, and each believed his actions would prevail against opposing forces. Each man was deceived by illusion. Macbeth's illusion that he was invincible was delivered up to him by the witches. Gatsby's illusion, that he and Daisy could repeat the past, came from his basic romanticism and his deep need to have Daisy in order to fulfill his long-held dreams.

Gatsby and Macbeth were both blind to reality. Gatsby never understood that he would never belong in Daisy's world, no matter how much money he acquired, and he did not recognize or understand the ties that bound Daisy and Tom together. Macbeth was blind to the true nature of the witches, even though Banquo warned him. As he contemplated Duncan's murder, Macbeth was also blind to the fact that once he gained Duncan's crown, he would never be able to enjoy it.

One similarity between Lady Macbeth and Daisy is that each enjoys great wealth and high social position as the result of marrying powerful men. Tom's wealth was legendary, even when he was in college. When she married Tom, Daisy lived with the opulent benefits of his money. In her marriage to Macbeth, Lady Macbeth enjoyed the honors accorded to the wife of a valiant general, and she enjoyed Macbeth's wealth. He was Thane of Glamis and became Thane of Cawdor, gaining control of vast estates. Eventually, Macbeth's rise to power made her Queen of Scotland.

luannw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Ambition is the most obvious similarity between the two works.  Macbeth was ambitious, so he killed Duncan, his best friend, and several other people.  Gatsby was ambitious so he engaged in illegal activities to make money.  Macbeth's ambition was to become king so he could have power. Gatsby's ambition was to become rich so he could have.

Both Gatsby and Macbeth had friends.  Gatsby's friend was Nick Carroway; Macbeth's friend was Banquo.  Gatsby's friend, Nick, admired Gatsby in the end.  Macbeth had his friend, Banquo, killed because Macbeth thought Banquo suspected him of murdering Duncan.

Macbeth and Gatsby had a woman each man loved.  Macbeth and his wife, Lady Macbeth, were in love.  Lady Macbeth coerced her husband to kill Duncan by telling him if he were a man he'd do it.  Because he wanted to please his wife, he committed the murder.  Gatsby worked hard to make his fortune - mostly illegally - in order to impress Daisy because he loved her.  Both men did some of what they did because they wanted to impress a woman.

Read the study guide:
The Great Gatsby

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