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One Author Two Tragedies Two Very Different Murderers William Shakespeares Hamlet and Macbeth are both classic tragedies Each tragedys list of characters contains an ambition-driven murderer Hamlet Claudius and Macbeth Macbeth On the surface both characters seem alike in their murderous appetite for the coveted throne However a closer analysis reveals that Claudius and Macbeth differ in their characters personality and behavior Both Claudius and Macbeth create their problems and eventual downfall when they commit murder However their methods for dealing with their conflicts are opposite The difference in character is evident by their contrasting ways of dealing with adversity After Macbeth murders King Duncan he realizes that the guards of the Kings bedchamber are key witnesses As a result Macbeth instinctively kills the guards in an attempt to conceal his crime Macbeths character is again revealed when Macbeth plots to have Banquo and Fleance killed because he sees them as a threat to his throne Macbeths actions confirm that he has no integrity He cannot take responsibility for his mistakes Instead he tries to escape the consequences of his crime by committing more crimes Claudius deals with his problems differently than Macbeth Claudius does not kill Hamlet because he knows of Claudiuss crime Claudius even has the opportunity to jail Hamlet when he kills Polonius but Claudius doesnt Instead Claudius exiles Hamlet and sends two diplomats with him Unlike Macbeth Claudius does not murder without a motive he does not murder to avoid the consequences of his actions Claudius has integrity and he is responsible and rational Personality is another distinction between Claudius and Macbeth Claudius is independent and self-confident The concept for the murder is his own and he commits this crime without an accomplice At no time does Claudius feel guilty for his crime On the contrary Macbeth is jumpy rash and easily persuaded Macbeth is nervous and unsure about the crime he is about to commit but Lady Macbeth
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