A Comparison Of Macbeth And Cr


Shakespeare’s “Macbeth” and Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment explore the psychological depths of man. These two works examine tragedy as represented through the existential beliefs of many philosophers. Existentialist theory expresses the idea that man can satisfy his own needs, regardless of social codes, if he has the energy and ambition to act. Both Macbeth and Raskolnikov have the ambition to act, but each struggles internally with their actions, frightened of the consequences. Although these works examine the tragedy and remorse of Macbeth and Raskolnikov, the idea of a driving force within each character remains evident. Ultimately, William Shakespeare’s “Macbeth” and Fyodor ...

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to decide how he is to live within this “absurd and irrational world” (Moore & Bruder 504). “Macbeth” employs many existentialist concepts. Macbeth’s murdering of Duncan to obtain his kingship displays a basic existentialist philosophy in that he eliminated his obstacles in order to fulfill his ambition (Gellrich 17). The witches who constantly taunt Macbeth drive him to his ultimate goal (Craig 255). Dostoevsky also employs an existentialist philosophy in his novel. The “set of unconscious drives” (Cox 42) that propel Raskolnikov to commit his crime reveal that “human nature is not entirely definable by its rationality”(Jalava 1). This relates to existentialism by virtue of people occasionally performing certain actions that cannot be explained (Jalava 6).
Both the works of Shakespeare and Dostoevsky suggest “existential approaches to tragedy”(Gellrich 257) that ultimately determines the protagonist’s fate. The two protagonists, Macbeth and Raskolnikov, possess tragic flaws that ...

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man’s conduct is unexplainable (Bradbury 38).
The existential theory explains the motivation for both protagonists. The philosophy of existentialists stresses man’s determination to satisfy his aspirations. The bases for their belief stems from the “conception of the human condition,” (Stone 1) referring to the manner in which man’s actions are justified. The existentialist ideas focus on the irrationality behind man’s behavior (Jalava 1). Furthermore, Macbeth demonstrates his motivation through his thoughts and actions. Illustrating the theory of existence as fallacious, and feeling ashamed of his actions, Macbeth loses his mind (Somerville 33). Of course, the thought of becoming king at ...

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Added: 9/19/2008 03:48:59 PM
Category: Book Reports
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 1602
Pages: 6

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