Compare and Contrast Brutus and Macbeth

1485 Words May 1st, 2009 6 Pages
Brutus vs. Macbeth through Power, Ambition, and Honor “Absolute power corrupts absolutely,” unless one knows how to use it, it shall not corrupt. Everyone has ambitions, a strong desire of achieving great things, and some will do whatever it takes to achieve their goal. Honor is a title one receives through their noble acts; but some honorable and strongly ambitious people may go as far as to give up their noble title to accomplish their purpose. William Shakespeare is a well-known English poet and playwright, a big participant in creating the English language. Among his twelve tragedies, two has very similar plot and tragic heroes. The play Julius Caesar is about a noble, honorable, and trusted man named Brutus, who killed his friend and …show more content…
“It must be by his death; and for my part,/ I know no personal cause to spurn at him,/ but for the general.” (Julius Caesar, II.i.10-12). Brutus has no other reason to kill Caesar than for the greater good of Rome, whereas Macbeth killed more than three people for his own benefit. Macbeth first kills Duncan to become king; then Banquo and his son to make sure that they shall not be kings, but unfortunately for him, Fleance escaped; and finally Macduff’s family, though he was mainly aiming for Macduff himself. The heroes’ ambitious deed also led them to lose everything. Aforementioned, Brutus only killed Caesar for the good of Rome. However, in allowing Mark Anthony to speak at Caesar’s funeral, Brutus made himself and the conspirators the most hated people in Rome. To have the citizens despise him was not what Brutus had planned, therefore he has lost half of what he had—admiration from the people, the meaning of his life. To make matters worse, Portia, Brutus’s noble wife, killed herself by swallowing coal. It is not known if Brutus had other family members, therefore it can safely be concluded that he had lost everything, his fame and wife. Macbeth falls in a similar matter, first losing his friend and relative Duncan; then his comrade in the field, Banquo; his wife; and most importantly himself. For killing countless people, Macbeth’s guilt slowly builds in him, and at his end, was exposed in the
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