Analysis Of ' Macbeth ' And ' Medea ' Essay

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Charlotte Joko Beck said, “We have self-centered minds which get us into plenty of trouble. If we do not come to understand the error in the way we think, our self-awareness, which is our greatest blessing, is also our downfall.” In this particular quotation, Beck explores the bias of the human psyche and its ability to favor personal hankerings over logic and morale. “Euripides introduced psychological realism into ancient Greek drama through characters like Medea, whose motives are confused, complex, and ultimately driven by passion” (Galens and Spampinato para. 1). This one-sided battle of wills is portrayed throughout the literary tragedies of history, and it is essential to the structure of both Shakespearean and Greek tragedy: namely, those of Macbeth and Medea. In the nature of literary tragedy, tragic flaw and downfall go hand in hand. Macbeth and Medea, although their circumstances differ in time and place, share more than one personality flaw; however, one major factor sets them apart. While the curse of pride, ego, and an insatiable hunger for power all contribute to the mental or physical downfall of both Shakespeare’s Macbeth and Euripides’ Medea, Macbeth’s ultimate hamartia is knowledge: specifically, his discovery of the prophecy. Macbeth and Medea were prompted by their own pride to commit violent and treasonous acts. Upon hearing of Macbeth’s hesitance to murder King Duncan, Lady Macbeth points out that his internal conflict only confuses his intentions,

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