Thursday, November 12, 2015

Hambeth (Maclet)

Yesterday, I was helping one of my friends who goes to Rummel study for Macbeth. I had to review the story because Hamlet is obviously at the front of my brain. The similarities between Hamlet and Macbeth are very open. Macbeth and Hamlet both are somewhat power hungry, and kill people to get to the top. Macbeth is openly driven by greed, whereas Hamlet says he is going to kill Claudius to avenge his father's death (which just so happens to also put him in power). Both Hamlet and Macbeth also kill innocent bystanders along the way of rising to power. Both plays also heavily rely on ghosts to move the story along (Banquo in Macbeth, the spirit/possibly the dead king in Hamlet). I'm sure there are many other similarities between these two works of Shakespeare!

4 comments:

Abbey said...

I don't think Hamlet is necessarily power hungry. He is not driven by a greater desire to replace Claudius and become the new King of Denmark. All he is trying to do at this point is avenge his father's death. Hamlet's ultimate goal isn't to kill the king to become the king (though if he killed the king he would be king since he is currently the prince). Unlike Claudius, Hamlet doesn't come up with this deceitful plan to take over the kingdom. I think if Hamlet really was power hungry in his actions, he would have no problem going through with the murder. But because of his great delay, I think we can rule out that he has some wish to climb to the top of the hierarchy. After all, as far as we know, and let's assume this is the case, Claudius had no problem (no delay) with killing his own brother to take the throne.

Also, Macbeth created his own issues whereas Hamlet's situation is created for him. Macbeth is told he will become king so he does what he thinks he has to do to fulfill the "prophecy," but Hamlet's father was murdered by his uncle so he is only trying to do simply what was conventional (avenging a death). Macbeth kills the innocent King Duncan on purpose, and Hamlet tries to intentionally kill Claudius, who is not at all innocent. Hamlet didn't know Polonius was behind the curtain so he didn't mean to kill or harm him; Polonius was just in the wrong place at the wrong time and I don't think Hamlet should be labeled with killing an "innocent bystander" because it wasn't something he did on purpose that would lead to the success of his goal. Polonius isn't really all that innocent anyway as he inserts himself into and takes a large part in the conflict.

madison kahn said...

I agree with you, Abbey. I think that there are many similarities in Hamlet and Macbeth, but I don't think the desire for power is one of them. Honestly, I don't think Hamlet as any interest in Denmark at all. He even says at one point that Denmark is a prison. He says something along the lines of, "I could live in a walnut shell and be just as happy." Hamlet definitely would not have power in a walnut shell. I think he's perfectly content with his life as is and has no desire for the extea responsibility/power. His only real motive to kill Claudius, i believe, is to avenge the murder.

master123 said...

One similarity, but also difference between Macbeth and Hamlet is that they are both insane. The difference is that Hamlet is only acting crazy where as Macbeth turns into an actual crazy person. I know there are some critics that wonder if Hamlet actually turns crazy, but my option is that he is only acting the entire time. One thing I find particularly interesting, at lest to my interpretation, is that Macbeth sounds more insane than Hamlet. Sure Hamlet will say some crazy things here and there, but what he says mostly are misleading words, such as words with double meaning, or when Hamlet says Polonious is at a feast, at first Hamlet is not making sense, but later Hamlet does make sense when he says Polonious is the meal at the feast for the maggots. Macbeth on the other hand is delusional, for example when Macbeth sees a floating dagger that leads him to kill the king, now that's crazy.

Antonio Imbornone said...

I wouldn't really compare Hamlet to Macbeth too much. Though they both take part in a plot to kill a king, they do so with different motives. We cannot be sure that Hamlet's revenge is selfish. I don't think that he is doing it for his own benefit (becoming king or even avenging his father's death). We see this in his delay. Hamlet contemplates all of his decisions, overthinking them to the point of his own confusion. We are not sure whether or not Hamlet seeks to murder Claudius for self gain, or if it is simply his attempt at following his father's (ghosts's) orders. Macbeth on the other hand acts without much thinking, and is definitely acting for self gain.I would compare Macbeth more to Claudius than Hamlet. The two both have murdered a king and both deal with an extreme guilt complex. Jaclyn's points still make sense, but I'm not on the same page.