Contrasting Claudius and Macbeth

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One Author: Two Tragedies: Two Very Different Murderers William Shakespeare's Hamlet and Macbeth are both classic tragedies. Each tragedy's 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 …

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…Claudius, on the other hand, behaves thoughtfully, and does not need the advice of others to determine his actions. Unlike Macbeth, Claudius has neither an accomplice nor an advisor. Ambitious murder is virtually the only similarity between Claudius and Macbeth. They are distinct in their characters, personality, and behavior. These differences become evident through their actions. Claudius is a responsible, thoughtful man with integrity, while Macbeth is a careless, spontaneous man who is easily persuaded.