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Animal Farm and Macbeth

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In both Animal Farm and Macbeth, the characters battle with conflicts that have stemmed from their extreme ambition. In Animal Farm, Napoleon desires power, and he goes about changing the rules by which the animals have agreed to live in order to put himself in charge. As the novel progresses, the animals fear Napoleon and do not want to get in his way even though they know that there are problems with his rule.This extreme ambition, however, leads Napoleon to his downfall.

Similarly, Macbeth is driven by his extreme sense of ambition to become king and to take control of Scotland. Like Napoleon, Macbeth has many people murdered to protect his position as the supreme authority. This causes many conflicts in Scotland, and ultimately, most of the Thanes leave his side to go and fight for Malcolm and the English army. In the end, both Napoleon and Macbeth are destroyed by the conflicts that they have created. One common theme in Animal Farm and Macbeth is that men and pigs will desire power above everyone else. Macbeth becomes obsessed with power that he kills anyone who poses as a threat to his reign and will try to stop him. Napoleon similarly changes the rules on the barn to keep the other animals subdued enough to allow him to continue with his plans.

Externally, Macbeth is easily manipulated by the suggestive ambitions of his wife and reacts with reckless violence to the visions of the witches. Internally, he is conflicted throughout the play by his own ambition for power and his fear of losing it and the increasing guilt, most notable in his hallucinations of Banquo, which becomes a type of internal and external conflict.

Napoleon, on the other hand, does not seem conflicted at all as he doesn’t have an inner conscience but acts without any thought about what he is doing, this makes us have no sympathy for Napoleon but some for Macbeth. Initially he is like the other animals, he is oppressed by Farmer Jones to the point where they take up the revolution. Napoleon is does not get manipulated but is the manipulator.

Macbeth dies because of his crimes as Shakespeare wants to resolve the conflicts and put Malcolm, the rightful king back on the throne as he is the Devine King.There is no downfall for Napoleon, just like Stalin. Orwell’s story has a frustrating ending for the audience, but is much more realistic as villains don’t lose but mostly win.

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