Macbeth vs Gatsby

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Jay Gatsby and Macbeth are in many ways responsible for their own downfalls, though I believe that Macbeth contributes more directly to his downfall than the comparatively indirect actions of Gatsby. Both characters are in some ways also to blame for the demise of other characters and their unrealistic hopes, dreams and ambitions bring about their untimely death. Moreover, the influence of key characters, especially women, whom are associated with Macbeth and Gatsby contribute to some extent to the two protagonists’ downfalls. The presentation of Macbeth and Gatsby at the start of their stories to the reader are contrasting to that at the end. The fist mention of Macbeth at the start of the play is by witches. This automatically associates Macbeth with evil and witchcraft. To extend this connection, Macbeth is given similar lines to the witches, “Fair is foul, and foul is fair” from the witches and “So foul and fair a day I have not seen” from Macbeth to Banquo. Yet Macbeth is described by the bloody captain as a valiant and brave soldier on the battlefield, like “Valour’s minion” and whose sword “smoked with bloody execution”; showing that Macbeth is worthy of the name “brave Macbeth”. But through the play, the character of Macbeth gradually deteriorates into a frail, cowardly man who is profoundly disillusioned, totally in contrast to the portrayal of him by the bloody captain. A similar change occurs during The Great Gatsby, where initially the character of Jay Gatsby is portrayed as “mysterious”, and who represented to Nick “everything for which I have an unaffected scorn”. Throughout the novel, Gatsby comes across as forlorn and lonely, and this feeling of isolation is emphasized during Gatsby’s party at the beginning of chapter three in which he invites other lonely aristocrats, in the off chance that Daisy might appear. Nick feels as though there is more
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