What texts have a connection with themes or ideas from Shakespeare's Macbeth?What texts have a connection with themes or ideas from Shakespeare's Macbeth?

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I find that one text that features a strong connection with Macbeth is All the President's Men by Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein.  Both works go very far and detail very well the extent of how political power corrupts leaders.  Macbeth becomes driven with the need to act in a corrupt manner to maintain and consolidate his power.  There are no limits to what he will do to ensure that his power remains.  In the Woodward and Bernstein book, Nixon and his staff are shown in much the same light.  Macbeth embraced murder, and while Nixon and his staff couldn't do that for the legality issue, they embraced everything but in order to maintain their power.  Macbeth viewed politics as war and his opponents as enemies.  Nixon and his staff did much of the same.  Both works shown how there is little in way of limitations for people in power who wish to do whatever they can to keep it.  In both works, ambition proves to be morally and politically disastrous.  The moral and ethical depravity shown by both leaders is something that connects both texts.  Macbeth has some realization to what he has done and the cost it has ensued.  One can only presume that Nixon's resignation in shame and disgrace prompted the same type of reflection, perhaps not as the same level as Shakespeare's protagonist.  In this element, both works share a connection.

sarahc418 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I use the poem "Out, Out" by Robert Frost with the play Macbeth. It has a specific connection to the comment that Macbeth makes regarding life being like a candle.

"To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow, Creeps in this petty pace from day to day, To the last syllable of recorded time; And all our yesterdays have lighted fools The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player, That struts and frets his hour upon the stage, And then is heard no more. It is a tale Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,Signifying nothing."

We talk about the brevity of life and how that affects our daily actions. In "Out, Out" a young boy dies at the hands of a machine, and he is an innocent. In Macbeth, in no way to we consider Macbeth "innocent." However, no matter if we are young, old, innocent or guilt, death finds us all, and people will continue on with their lives after we are gone. 


Kristen Lentz eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Great Expectations deals extensively with the theme of ambition, as young Pip tries to improve himself and his situation.  Pip's brand of ambition would serve as an interesting contrast to Macbeth's. 

"The Tell-Tale Heart" or "The Black Cat" by Edgar Allan Poe address the theme of guilt and insanity; I definitely see some parallels between the unreliable narrator in Poe's stories and Lady Macbeth's descent into madness.

rrteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Of course, William Faulkner's brilliant The Sound and the Fury drew its name from the quote, referenced above, from Macbeth. The quote is immediately relevant because Benjy's account is the first in the book. Moreover, Faulkner's use of this quote drawn from such a bleak quote sets the tone for his story, which relates the decline of a once-important and prosperous southern family.

mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

"Vaulting ambition" characterizes other Shakespeare personnages, such as Claudius in Hamlet.  Also,Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness certainly deals with the negative effects of ambition. And, of course, the classic German legend, Faust, concerns itself with the overpowering desires born of ambition.

e-martin eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The novel All the King's Menby Robert Penn Warren deals with themes of ambition, loyalty and (to some extent) the idea of fate. There are connections on each of these levels with Macbeth. 

Also, Oedipus Rex also deals the notions of prophesy and fate in ways that resonate with Macbeth.

kiwi eNotes educator| Certified Educator

T K Roxborough's novel "Banquo's son" is a sequel to the play which explores Fleance's life after he escapes assassination. It is well executed (no pun intended) AND written by a Kiwi.

florilege | Student
As it has already been said, William Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury is most redolent of Shakespeare's Macbeth since Benjy's tale is "a tale told by an idiot". Like Macbeth, it's a tale of 'de-generation'("the decline of a once-important and prosperous southern family"). The hallucinatory world of Quentin's "walking shadows" also reminds one of Macbeth's "hence, horrible shadow! Unreal mockery, hence!-" when the ghostly form of Banquo suddenly appears to him. It is a world of "wicked dreams" and "false creations". Indeed,all things have become "shadowy paradoxical".
maryam-a412 | Student

julius caesar by shakespear. compare caesar with macbeth espcecially. significance of omens is another point which is common in both. theme of power and corruption. role of women.