After reading Macbeth and The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus it's obvious that two main characters are very much alike. Their journey and tragic destiny are almost the same. I will look at features and desires they have in common, symbols and people they are influenced by and some of the differences between them.
When we look at Macbeth and Faustus at the beginning of the play they seem as positive heroic figures. Macbeth is a brave warrior who has an important role in a battle and Faustus is a successful and smart scholar with a lot of potential. Both of them wanted something more. Macbeth became a Thane of Cawdor and Glamis, but he wanted to become a king. Faustus had knowledge he learned from books, but he still wanted to know everything about God and magic. We must ask ourselves why this wasn’t enough for them. Firstly we can look at some of the Macbeth’s reason. Macbeth received a lot of prices for his achievements, but he thought that he deserved even bigger title. He was also controlled by his wife and it was her idea to kill the king Duncan. "When you durst do it, then you were a man / And to be more than what you were, you would / Be so much more the man" Lady Macbeth says that Macbeth is not a true man if he has no courage to do this. It’s obvious that he’s sensitive about his manhood and wants to prove himself, as a husband, man and warrior. Lady Macbeth uses his weakness to get to the goal. He commits this crime instead of her because she’s too sensitive to kill him herself. He is acting like a protector of his wife and like a true man. It’s ironic that he’s so brave and protective, but at the same time he is weak and afraid of his future because he heard three witches’ prophecy. For Faustus reason lays in his s...
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...ect of men's desire. She appears after Faustus wished so and he gave her a kiss. He didn’t ask her for any advice or help, he only wanted a kiss as a comfort. In Renaissance women were not involved in science, art or literature so it is not strage that Faustus saw Helena only as beautiful woman.
To conclude, I think that both of these characters were weak because they couldn’t resist temptations. Macbeth couldn’t resist power that was predicted to him and Faustus wanted the forbidden. Their downfall was inevitable because everything they did was against God.
Marlowe, Christopher. “Doctor Faustus.” Norton Anthology of English Literature, Vol. 1B. Edited by M.H. Abrams and Stephen Greenblatt. New York: W. W. Norton and Co. 2000. 991-1023.
Shakespeare, William, and John Wilders. Macbeth. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge UP, 2004. Print.
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