Essay on Oedipus the King and Macbeth

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Oedipus the King and Macbeth Who would have thought that being a king would be so difficult? Oedipus and Macbeth are both kings that seem to have a lot of trouble staying king. The similarities do not stop there. Macbeth and Oedipus are similar in a variety of ways. The interesting thing is that they are also very different but still suffer the same fate. These similarities and differences teach us a valuable lesson about power. Oedipus and Macbeth have one main similarity ­they are kings who take a fall through faults of their own. Both become kings by reacting to what the supernatural forces tell them. If the supernatural forces had never influenced the two, neither would have tried to become king. The role of supernatural forces is important for both heroes. The oracle instructs Oedipus to take revenge upon the murderer of the former king, Laios, in order to stop the plague; Macbeth is told by the three weird sisters that he will be king. How the two heroes interpret the messages of the supernatural forces is their downfall. Both interpret the messages as absolute fact. Macbeth becomes too confident because of the words of the sisters and gets himself killed. Oedipus tries to find the murderer of Laios only to discover that he himself is the killer. Both are very prosperous to begin with and would have lived long and comfortable lives if they had just left well enough alone. But these two teach us a lesson because they both are dethroned at the end of the plays. However, there are some big differences between the two and how they fall. Oedipus is the better person of the two. He becomes king by saving the city of Thebes from the Sphinx, a very noble deed. Macbeth helps to save Scotland but is only one soldier in a huge army that fights off the attackers. Oedipus shows pride by thinking that he alone can save the city from the plague, but he wants to save the city, and he has the citizens first in his mind. Oedipus addresses the citizens: Poor children! You may be sure I know All that you longed for in your coming here. I know that you are deathly sick; and yet, Sick as your are, not one is as sick as I. (1019) Macbeth, on the other hand, murders Duncan in cold blood to gain the kingship.
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