How would I go about composing a persuasive speech that compares Macbeth and Gadaffi?I need to cover issues like guilt, betrayal, and ambition. Since I am doing it for the first time, I need some...

How would I go about composing a persuasive speech that compares Macbeth and Gadaffi?

I need to cover issues like guilt, betrayal, and ambition. Since I am doing it for the first time, I need some tips, please.

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vangoghfan's profile pic

vangoghfan | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

Well, given the most recent events in Libya, you might call attention to the fact that Gadaffi has now lost power and is in danger of being killed.  His death, if it happens, is likely to be very violent, and, if Gadaffi is to be believed, he will die fighting. His death, if it happens, will be widely celebrated, especially by his Libyan opponents, and his body is unlikely to be treated with much dignity or respect. It is unlikely that any other member of the Gadaffi family will rule in Libya anytime soon, and so Gadaffi's legacy, like Macbeth's, is likely to stop with Gadaffi himself.

kplhardison's profile pic

Karen P.L. Hardison | College Teacher | eNotes Employee

Posted on

One thing you would think about doing is disarming the counterargument that would tend to invalidate any comparison between the two based upon their origins. Whereas Macbeth is a noble born and a liege of the King with an hereditary significance, Gaddafi was born of a Bedouin farmer in a desert in Libya and only gained a place of significance in Libya through hard work in his studies.

pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

I think that there is a major difference between the two men in that there is not any (that I have been able to see) doubt or conflict on Gaddafi's part.  (The fact that we do not have access to Gaddafi's thoughts the way that we have access to Macbeth's is a real problem.)  So far as we know, Gaddafi is not wracked with guilt.  We do not have any evidence that he sees daggers or ghosts or anything like that which would indicate that he feels apprehension about bad things he is about to do or remorse about what he has done.

accessteacher's profile pic

accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

Great question here! I would want to focus on the way in which Gaddafi rose to power and also the various human rights abuses that he has presided over. This of course finds an excellent parallel with Macbeth and the role of ambition in his rise to power and the various despicable deeds he is responsible for. Of course, no witches played any role (that we know of) in Gaddafi's rise to power, and they are a massively important element in Macbeth's life, bringing in the whole theme of destiny and whether we need to lend fate a helping hand.

mwestwood's profile pic

mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

While there do not seem to be any redeeming characteristics in Muammar Gaddafi [please check your spelling of this man's name[ as there are in Macbeth, the "vaulting ambition" of both men is similar. In addition, there is an arrogance to Macbeth that mirrors that of Gaddafi who has told the United States that all that is necessary for the conquest of the U.S. is for him and other leaders of his ideological persuasion to simply sit back and wait.

litteacher8's profile pic

litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

I'll admit I don't see Gadaffi as a sympathetic figure. However, I also always say that you need to look at every point of view in a story. I don't know that he feels guilt for anything. He wouldn't express it. That doesn't mean he has none. He has a ruthless public image to maintain.
akannan's profile pic

Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

This is going to be interesting.  I think that the first thing needed is going to establish is the basis of Gadaffi's rise to power and his obvious love for it.  It has to be made clear that Gadaffi covets power as much as Macbeth.  In this, there is going to be some challenge because Gadaffi features many rationalizations behind his desire to keep power.  It is important for you to dissect these as reflections of an underlying coveting of power.  This is where I think that the basic link is between Macbeth and Gadaffi.  I don't think that it is going to be problematic for you to show to what lengths both go to maintain their power.  They do not have a problem turning a murderous eye on their own people in order to keep and consolidate their own power.  Certainly, this can be seen in Gadaffi's reaction to rebel forces in Libya in the current context.  I think that this might be something to explore in your construction of how Macbeth's character is similar to Gadaffi.  Another point of similarity is that both of them look to the "other world" as part of their leadership modus operandi.  Macbeth and the three witches are linked in terms of power and Gadaffi is a very big advocate of astronomy and the alignment of the stars.

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