Pride in Macbeth and Death of a Salesman Essay

Pride in Macbeth and Death of a Salesman Essay

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Pride in Macbeth and Death of a Salesman

Any great accomplishment can make someone feel proud about their work. It makes one feel good; it raises a person's spirits. "No question, pride has its good points." (The Toronto Star, Nov 1999) Then again, there are also the bad points of pride one must consider, before being proud. Pride can deceive a person into being ambitious, and make them strive for something that is not rightfully theirs. Both Macbeth and Willy encountered this problem. Pride can also cause a bad relationship with the people one loves most. For Macbeth and Willy, their relationships with their families were burdened as a consequence of this pride. Pride can lead to much worse things; it can put a person in a position to be their ultimate cause of their death, and such was the fate for Willy Loman and Macbeth. "It's an excess of pride that buys you one-way, economy coach passage to the fires of hell." (The Toronto Star, Nov 1999) In the play Macbeth and Death of a Salesman, both Macbeth and Willy are seen as tragic heroes due to their pride, as seen in these three situations.

First, both characters' pride swindled them into believing they could be so much more than they were meant to be, it made them ambitious. In any monarchial country, such as Scotland, the greatest achievement would be the crown. When King Duncan announced that Malcolm, his son would succeed him, Macbeth's vaulting ambition made him believe that "[this] is a step, On which I must fall down, or else o'erleap." (Macbeth, Act 1, Sc. 4, ll. 49-50) His pride forced him to want to be king. Willy, who also has an excessive amount of pride, told his wife that "if he keeps it up he'll be a member of the firm". (Death of a Salesman, P...


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...th; meanwhile his pride blinded him from the fact that Macduff was the one man that could kill him. He cried out "Lay on Macduff, and damned to him that first cries 'Hold, enough!'" (Macbeth, Act 5, Sc. 8, ll. 33-34) For both characters, their pride was ultimately the cause of their deaths.

"The deadliest of the seven deadlies." (The Toronto Star, Nov 1999) holds very true in the situations of Macbeth and Willy. For both, their pride tricked them into ambition. It also placed stress on their relationships with their families. These two character's pride could not have done anymore damage, as it was the cause of their deaths. The three situations aforementioned exhibited Willy Loman and Macbeth as tragic heroes, the cause being their pride. "As the old saying goes, the bigger they are, the harder -- and farther -- they fall." (The Toronto Star, Nov 1999)

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