Compare and Contrast Macbeth’s and Hamlet’s MadnessMadness can be described as an internal flaw that both characters, Hamlet and Macbeth, possess. Although their madness is different in some aspects, it can be said that it played a key role in the downfall of both of these tragic characters. In the following essay I will attempt to describe how Hamlet’s madness and Macbeth’s madness are similar and how they contrast.
Prince Hamlet seemed to be in a state of madness ever since the demise of his father, King Hamlet. One example that could prove his madness is when Hamlet has an in-depth conversation with his dead father’s ghost. This however may not have been a hallucination because of the two other people who were present when hamlet first spotted his father’s spirit. The madness begins to show in Hamlet when he vows to seek revenge upon his father’s death. Hamlet then decides that he will have vengeance on the King because he knows that the king has killed his father. Hamlet’s state of madness causes him to suspect that his mother is letting King Claudius into her bed to soon. This causes Hamlet to become enraged and also causes Hamlet to dislike King Cladius even more than before. Hamlet’s madness begins to show more and more when he mistakenly kills Polonius in his own mother’s bedroom. Hamlet then shows no remorse for the horrible crime that he had just committed. When Hamlet shows no remorse, it is evident to me that he his truly mad.
Macbeth, like Hamlet, is a tragic hero whose downfall was caused by an internal flaw which was madness. Macbeth and Hamlet’s madness were very similar due to the fact that they both never showed any remorse when they killed someone until they were faced with death. The fact that neither Macbeth nor Hamlet had any remorse at all showed that they suffered from madness.
In contrast, the madness that Macbeth and Hamlet possessed was different. When Hamlet killed King Cladius, it was because he was seeking revenge for his father’s death.
When Macbeth killed Duncan or Banquo, it was because he wanted to be the king. Hamlet’s main downfall however, was procrastination. He would always talk himself out of killing the king. Macbeth’s main downfall was that he had too much ambition. If Macbeth would have just waited, he would have been the king in due time and no one would have been murdered.
In the following essay, I have described the likeness and the difference between Hamlet and Macbeth’s madness. I have also described their tragic downfalls.