Compare and Contrast Essay on King Lear and Macbeth

Words: 898
Pages: 4

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…
The cause is the realization that his daughters Goneril and Regan do not love him. What finally pushed him over the edge was the cruel actions afflicted on him by the people that supposedly loved him.

To such a lowness but his unkind daughters. … 'Twas this flesh begot Those pelican daughters describes Lear of the cruelty of his daughters (III.iii.76,80-81).

The character of Lear produces the theme of madness by expressing his own increasing insanity and reasons the reason for it in raving tangents.

The style and depiction of the theme of madness are very different in both plays. Macbeth shows madness in the main characters with lots of imagery, giving a very physical sense of feeling towards the audience making them have a better understanding of what the characters are feeling. In King Lear madness is depicted through the main characters dialogue. This is meant to show the psychological turmoil going through the character’s mind which helps the audience understand why and what the character is doing within the play.

In conclusion it is clear that madness was a very re occurring theme in both plays King Lear and Macbeth. However, the style in which the madness was depicted in each play is very different, in Macbeth madness within the main characters is shown through basic hallucinations through sight and smell, whereas in King