What theme would be associated with both Winston in 1984 and Macbeth in Shakespeare's Macbeth?I need a theme that connects to both characters.

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This is going to be a challenge because both of the characters are fundamentally different.  I think that one could explore the theme of freedom and choice within both characters.  Are both characters truly free or are their actions controlled by others?  Certainly, I think that Winston's freedom is contained within the confines of what Big Brother and the Party allow.  At the same time, I think that Macbeth's freedom could be seen as influenced by both the witches as well as Lady Macbeth.  I think that it might thematically interesting to see how these individuals' actions are limited by external conditions.  How each of these characters respond to this curtailing of freedom might be an interesting dimension to assess.  At the same time, while their freedom is limited, it is evident that each one of them end up in tragically disastrous circumstances.  While freedom might be limited, another extrapolation could be that whatever freedom is experienced is a negative expression, leading to personal destruction.  In the end, one cannot fully grasp if freedom is a good thing with both characters.