Theme Similarities: Macbeth and A Song of Ice and Fire Essay

Jonathan Galvanism June 14, 2013 “That is part of the beauty of all literature. You discover that your longings are universal longings, that you’re not lonely and isolated from anyone. You belong. ” This quotation by F. Scott Fitzgerald explains that the best literature will always reflect on human nature and so will be immortal and universal. Literature has many aspects that are reused and refined to create modern stories.

Some themes like forbidden love or mortality and some character aspects like corrupting ambition are universal ND timeless for they will always be part of the human condition. The Shakespearean play “Macbeth” shares many themes, setting and many characters with similar traits with the fantasy series “A Song of Ice and Fire” by George R. R. Martin. Although the play “Macbeth” and the series “A song of Ice and Fire” were written almost 500 years apart, they are actually quite salary. There are similar themes In the series “The Song of Ice and Fire” and the play “Macbeth”.

One similar theme is the conflict over a monarchical position of power. “[Macbeth and A Song of Ice and Fire] are both about the constant struggle for the heron and power Though this is not the only theme of both stories, they do play key parts. ” (Macbeth-Game of Thrones? 2012). In the fantasy series “The Song of Ice and Fire”, we see many kings that lay claim for the throne after the previous king Robert Parathion dies. Satanist Parathion, the brother of Robert says, “The Iron Throne is mine by right. All those who deny it are my foes. (Martin – Clash of Kings, 177) Another example is Deanery’s Ternary. Seer Juror tells her, “… You will not win your father’s throne with sweepings from the Free cities… ” (Martin – Clash of Kings, 65) Similarly, “Macbeth” contains a battle and conflict for the throne. Macbeth is planning to usurp the throne from Duncan and Malcolm being Instated Prince, leads him to the conclusion that he must rid himself of Malcolm as well or give up on becoming king. Macbeth says aside, “The Prince of Cumberland! Hat Is a step / On which I must fall down, or else o’er;leap… ” (Shakespeare, l, lb, 55-56) Later on, Macadam plots with Malcolm to reinstate his rightful place on the throne by leading a revolt with the English force’s help. They plan on removing Macbeth from power so that Malcolm can become king. Macadam says to Malcolm, “Bestride our down-fall’s birthday: each new morn / New widows howl, new orphans cry, new sorrows… ” (Shakespeare, IV, 5-6) He means that even Scotland weeps at the hand of the tyrant Macbeth.

Another similar theme is the fact that there are multiple antagonistic characters but no clear prime antagonist. The characters in both novels are out there for themselves and manipulate others for their own good, but also receive sympathy accurately and portray the fact that humans are morally grey. They both show that not everyone is completely evil or completely good. In the “The Song of Ice and Fire” irises, there are so many point-of-view characters that we sympathies with most of the characters in the series even though some of them have conflicts between them.

For example, we have Deanery’s who plots to regain her father’s throne whereas Robert Parathion, the current king, plots to kill Deanery’s when he receives news of her marriage with Shall Drop. “Deanery’s Ternary has wed some Toothier Horse lord… Shall we send her a wedding gift? A knife, perhaps. A good sharp knife and a bold man to wield it. ” (Martin – Game of Thrones, 78) In Macbeth, there are several possibilities for antagonistic characters. Much like in “The Song of Ice and Fire”, Shakespeare captures human imperfection.

Macbeth, Lady Macbeth and the three witches are all possible antagonists for the play. We see Macbeth showing resolve but we also see Macbeth acting cruelly and ordering death sentences without remorse. Macbeth says, “… Give to the edge o’ the sword / [Macadam’s] wife, his babes, and all unfortunate souls / that trace him in his line. ” (Shakespeare, ‘V, I, 166-168) However, when Macbeth loses resolve and begins doubting him it is Lady Macbeth that challenges his manhood. Lady Macbeth says he was a man when he was going to do it. When you durst do it, then you were a man. (Shakespeare, l, vii, 54) But even she succumbs to guilt and later, suicide. So Lady Macbeth can’t be a complete antagonist either. The three witches give Macbeth his fate which inspires him to take action. Had they not interfered, they would not have fuelled his ambition. “All hail, Macbeth! Hail to thee, thane of Glacis! / All hail, Macbeth! Hail to thee, thane of Castor! / All hail, Macbeth! That shall be king hereafter. ” (Shakespeare, l, iii, The final matching theme is the comparison off tyrant and a good king. When Robert Parathion is killed, Jeffrey becomes king.

Jeffrey is a tyrant and while his father was a good king. Torsion, his dwarf uncle, said in the TV series adaptation of the series, “We’ve had vicious kings, and we’ve had idiot kings… But I don’t know if we’ve ever been cursed with a vicious idiot for a king. ” (The Old Gods and the New, 2012) Jeffrey has many servants in his palace killed for the error of one person. He fires Seer Barrister Sells for speaking back to him. He also has his knights physically and mentally abuses his fiance, Sans Stark. Robert Parathion may not have been an adequate king but he was fair.

Similarly, Macbeth was a tyrant. He had Banana killed because he could potentially usurp his throne according to a prophecy he heard from three witches. He has Macadam’s entire family and castle members killed because he thinks Macadam is going to betray him to the English. When the rest of Adenosine fled, he forced his subjects to remain and fight for him. Duncan too was not the best king but he too was fair. The Soapstone Editors say, “In the play, Duncan is always referred to as a “king,” while Macbeth soon becomes known as the “tyrant. ” (Soapstone Editors, n. D. Both books show the comparison off good king then a succeeding tyrant. Another similarity is the setting of the series and the play. The setting in both is a magical medieval realm. In the “The Song of Ice and Fire” series, there are many magical aspects. The series has a sorceress named Melanesian that has the ability to laughed. “No one betrayed you, onion knight. I saw your purpose in my flames. ” ” (Martin – Storm of Swords, 243) The series also has three dragons that were hatched by Deanery’s Ternary. They are capable of flight and breathing fire at command. Dragon,” she sang out loudly, sweetly, all her fear forgotten. “Drays. ” The black dragon spread his wings and roared. A lance of swirling dark flame took Karakas full in the face. His eyes melted and ran down his cheeks, and the oil in his hair and beard burst so fiercely into fire that for an instant the slaver wore a burning crown twice as tall as his head. (Martin – Storm of Swords, 263) There is a similar magical aspect to “Macbeth”. The play contains the three witches that have the power of prophecy. They told Macbeth what would become of him at the battlefield.

They predicted him becoming Thane of Castor and eventually becoming king. Macbeth has a goddess Haste who is the queen of witches. She primness the witches for being too involved in Machete’s fate. Haste says, “… How did you dare / To trade with Macbeth And l, the mistress of your charms/ Was never called to take part… ” (Shakespeare, Ill, v, 4-8) There are also ghosts, apparitions and magic potions. The ghost of Banana appears to Macbeth during the banquet like the dagger did before he killed Duncan. There was a set of apparitions that appeared to Macbeth after he drank the magic potion made by the witches.

Both the “The Song of Ice and Fire” series and the play “Macbeth” were set in a medieval realm that is before technology. They are limited by their lack of technology. In the series, they are limited by their forensic technology. There are assassinations that occur and go unnoticed because of their lack of forensic knowledge. They did not find out that Cerise Lancaster had Robert Parathion killed, or that Alyssa Tally had Jon Aryan killed. They both used poison and this could have been traced back to them using fingerprint technology, purchase records etc. , had the crimes occurred in the 21st century.

Alyssa admits to killing her husband, muff told me to put the tears in Son’s wine, and I did. ” (Martin – Storm of Swords, 755) Macbeth” too has these limitations. Macbeth kills Duncan, leaves the bloodied knives by the guards and claims to have killed them in a fit of rage. He uses this as an excuse to effectively hide all the evidence. Had this taken place in the 21st century, the fingerprint evidence would have indicated that the murder weapons were wielded by Macbeth and a drug test would have shown that the guards were unconscious throughout most of the night.

Another similarity in the setting is that they both have insurmountable social walls that keep the commoners and the royals separate. In the series, the kings all fight for he throne but the common people do not have a say. They simply sit and wait for the next king to arrive and follow his command. Seer Juror Mormon says, “The common people pray for rain, healthy children, and a summer that never ends,” Seer Juror told her. “It is no matter to them if the high lords play their game of thrones, so long as they are left in peace. He gave a shrug. “They never are. ” (Martin – Game of Thrones, 1 58) There are the slaves as well that do not have rights in the land across the narrow sea. The Toothier and other people that live there conquer cities and take its people as social classes. Similarly in Macbeth, the peasants and the common men are at the whim of the king. They have no choice but to follow him or be killed. Macbeth kills his enemies without remorse Just as he killed all of Macadam’s family or as he killed his friend Banana. The final similarity is the characters.

An example of parallel characters is Robert Parathion and King Duncan. They were both kings that ended up dying to leave way for tyrant kings. Robert died allowing Jeffrey to become king. King Duncan died allowing Macbeth to take his place. They were both inept and naive kings. Robert may have been a fair king, but he did not tend to his duties. He says to Ned when asking him to become Hand of the kingdom, “l am planning to make you run the kingdom and fight the wars while I eat and drink and wench myself into an early grave. (Martin – Game of Thrones, 33) He squandered the nation’s money on food, whore’s and tournaments for his pleasure. He had spent so much that the crown was in debt to Twin Lancaster. King Duncan was also fair but he was too trusting. This eventually led to his downfall. He was betrayed by the Thane of Castor and when e gave Macbeth that position, he wasn’t prudent at all. He should have foreseen Machete’s ambition but he didn’t so Macbeth killed him and stole his throne. Edward (Ned) Stark and Banana are similar characters as well.

They are both noble characters. Ned was a character that put loyalty before everything else. He believes that if one is to be punished to death, the one who issues the sentence must be the executioner. He killed his daughter’s direful Lady because it was his kings order. Seer Juror Mormon said that Ned was too honorable for his own good. Banana was also very loyal to his king and his friends. He told Macbeth that he wanted no part in the plot against King Duncan even though it would have helped his children become kings.

Finally, Banana deduced that Macbeth had killed King Duncan but Banana did not betray his friend. Cerise Lancaster and Lady Macbeth is another pair that is similar. Both are women in a medieval setting that cannot truly be in power because they are women. Cerise was not allowed to inherit Easterly Rock even though she was the eldest because she was a daughter. “l could have been the heir [my father] wanted, but I lacked the cook. ” (Martin – Storm of Swords, 82) Lady Macbeth too cannot have any power without Macbeth because she is a woman.

She was queen because Macbeth was queen but she cannot have any power without him. Both are power hungry women that aspire to have control. Cerise hopes to rule through her husband and her son. She becomes Queen Regent when Robert dies and she is in full control when Jeffrey dies because her other child Tommie is too young to make his own decisions. Lady Macbeth was the one who urged Macbeth to kill King Duncan. When Lady Macbeth is coaching her husband how to act with the company, she says, “Only look up clear; / To alter favor is to ear: / Leave all the rest to me. (Shakespeare, l, v, 79-81) Beth Hanson, with a university degree in literature and roles of women, says, “Cerise comes off much like Lady Macbeth, orchestrating murders to put [her son] on the throne. ” (2012) The final similarity between these two women is that they share a violent, infanticide- based nature. “Lady Macbeth infers that she has possibly smashed [a baby’s brain] out of a tower window. ” (Ember, 2012) Shakespeare may have lived in the 16th century and Martin in the 21st but they both wrote stories with shocking similarities.