The Danger of Knowledge (Comparative essay Frankenstein vs Macbeth
1089 WordsApr 3, 20145 Pages
The Danger of Knowledge
In Shakespeare’s play Macbeth and Mary Shelly’s novel Frankenstein it can be said that both protagonists come to an unfortunate end. What leads to Macbeth and Frankenstein’s premature demise? Victor Frankenstein and Macbeth both demonstrate that acquisition of knowledge is dangerous and to seek it for the purpose of power leads to destruction of life. Macbeth’s and Frankenstein’s knowledge leads to overwhelming ambition, to immoral decisions and the destruction of their reality.
Firstly knowledge leads to overpowering ambition. In the first act Macbeth is well-liked, King Duncan gloats: “He is full so valiant / and is a peerless…show more content…
Secondly knowledge blinds their moral compasses. The witches say to Banquo that “Thou shalt get kings, though thou be none. / So all hail, Macbeth and Banquo!”(1.3.58-59) the witches state that even though Macbeth will be king Banquo’s sons will be kings following Macbeth’s reign. Before the prophecy was made it is perceivable that Macbeth would have given his life for Banquo in combat but the knowledge of his rein encourages Macbeth to over throw Banquo. If Macbeth does not react to the Witches information then it is possible that Macbeth gives Banquo’s sons the throne by free will. Nowhere in the text does it state that Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are capable of reproduction. Macbeth does not think of these scenarios and instead reacts to this information by killing his dear friend Banquo and attempting to kill Banquo’s son. Similarly Frankenstein gains the knowledge necessary to reanimate life, but acts without thinking of the consequences. Once Frankenstein finishes creating his monster he says: “No mortal could support the horror of that countenance. A mummy again endued with animation could not be so hideous as that wretch” (Shelly 43) after looking at the monster Frankenstein runs away in horror. In the following months Frankenstein immorally does not attempt to contact the monster and leaves him alone in the world without any guidance. The wretch then goes on to kill innocent people. If Frankenstein had raised