Compare and Contrast Macbethís and Hamletís Madness

Madness 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 Hamletís madness and Macbethís 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 fatherís ghost. This however may not have been a
hallucination because of the two other people who were present when hamlet first spotted
his fatherís spirit. The madness begins to show in Hamlet when he vows to seek revenge
upon his fatherís death. Hamlet then decides that he will have vengeance on the King
because he knows that the king has killed his father. Hamletís 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. Hamletís madness begins to show more and more when he mistakenly kills
Polonius in his own motherís 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 Hamletís 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 fatherís death.
When Macbeth killed Duncan or Banquo, it was because he wanted to be the king. Hamletís main downfall however, was procrastination. He would always talk himself out of killing the king. Macbethís 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 Macbethís madness. I have also described their tragic downfalls.