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There have been plenty of occasions where a person wanted to be in power, so he or she killed the person who was in power. A particularly bloodthirsty example was Pol Pot, in Cambodia, also using a coup. The difference is that there was more than two people in on the plot.
The BBC recently did a series called "Shakespeare Revisited" with several of the plays in a current and modern twist. The Macbeth version was along the lines of the reality TV show, "Hell's Kitchen". The ambitious character of Macbeth was portrayed as a talented chef--one whose talent was shadowed by the restaurant owner's TV cooking show. Like the original Macbeth, the chef was loyal to his "King" and was considered an honorable person. Also like the original character, Lady Macbeth, or the chef's wife (hostess at the restaurant) encourages her husband to take matters into his own hands by ousting the "king" and taking his spot. Macbeth kills Duncan in his bed (another similarity to the original) and takes his spot on the TV show and as owner of the prestigious 5-star restaurant. Banquo suspects Macbeth's part in the death, and is also a target.
Unlike the original, this modern spin makes the witches into male garbage men who frequently visit the back alley of he restaurant and haunt Macbeth's conscience. Macbeth dies in a knife duel in his own kitchen, not on a battlefield, and he bleeds to death --alone-- like the pigs he has slaughtered throughout the film.
Banquo and Fleance are attacked while taking a family bicycle trip in the country.
Follow the link below for a more complete summary of all plot similarities and differences as well as characters. Good Luck!
By comparing Macbeth, I assume you mean the story and not just the character. As such, I'll give you a comparison based upon the abuse of power. The most extreme example is Hitler in WWII.
Hitler is like Macbeth:
- gained absolute power when he wasn't supposed to have it;
- was tyrannical and murdered people he found threatening without the due process of law
- used persuasive speaking strategies to convince people to do the "dirty work" for them
- both recognized for bravery in battle during war (Hitler during WWI)
- both were defeated by armies from another place
The two are different because:
- Macbeth murdered to gain power, Hitler used political strategy
- Hitler was after a whole race of people, Macbeth only after those who directly challenged/threatened his leadership
- Hitler sought to gain more power through more lands; Macbeth only wanted his power to be unlimited in his own country
- Macbeth was killed in battle; Hitler committed suicide
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