Compare and Contrast Essay on King Lear and Macbeth

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Shakespeare had written many plays in his life time, some of them included various tragedies which included King Lear and Macbeth. All of Shakespeare’s plays had a theme which was used to help the story’s plot to advance further, making events much more interesting. King Lear and Macbeth both have a common theme of madness that is apparent throughout the play which has been depicted differently. They are both written in different ways but still share a same purpose. The essay will be broken down into three parts; firstly we will look at the way madness is viewed in Macbeth. Secondly, we will look at the way King Lear portrays madness lastly we will compare the two to see how differently madness is displayed. While both plays share this …show more content…

Ross responds to him,

What sights, my lord (III.iii.118).

The Insanity of Macbeth is shown in these quotes. Shakespeare's description of Macbeth's thoughts visibly reveals the theme of madness.

Shakespeare portrays madness among many of his characters, and he returns to the theme again and again. Indirect characterization in the form of Lear's mad speeches allows Shakespeare to convey the theme of madness. For example one of Lear's first speeches after things started to go bad for him,

Poor naked wretches, wheresoe'er you are, That bide the pelting of this pitiless storm, How shall your house-hold heads and unfed sides, Your loop'd and window'd rag-gedness, defend you… (III.iv.35-38).

Lear's insanity increases throughout the play, demonstrated to the audience through more speeches, until his emotions overthrow his reason at the climax of the play. Lear randomly shouts in to the storm,

Rumble thy bellyfull! Spit, fire! Spout, rain! Nor rain, wind, thunder, fire are my daughters. I tax not you, you elements, with unkindness. I never gave you kingdom, called you children (III.ii.14-17).

The example of Lear invoking the storm to destroy the seeds of matter along with many other absurd statements illustrates that he has an

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