How are Macbeth and Macduff similar? How are they different?

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Though portrayed as opposites in character, the two men do share a key similarity: Macbeth and Macduff become so singularly focused on a goal that they are blinded to the truth. Macbeth desires to rule, and he believes the visions of the witches because they have proven capable in their prophesies thus far. Yet when the apparitions deliver their final predictions, Macbeth is so focused on achieving his "dread exploits" that he considers the predictions as impossible to fail him:

That will never be.
Who can impress the forest, bid the tree
Unfix his earthbound root? Sweet bodements! Good!
Rebellious dead, rise never till the wood
Of Birnam rise, and our high-placed Macbeth
Shall live the lease of nature, pay his breath
To time and mortal custom. (IV.i.104-110)

The forest does move—yet Macbeth never truly considers this possibility because he is so singularly focused on his own success. Similarly, Macduff becomes so focused on stopping "the devil of Scotland" that he blindly leaves his entire family at...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 1125 words.)

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