To elaborate further on the example using Macbeth and Animal Farm:
Avoid simply drawing connections between the texts which are immediately obvious. It is clear that both Napoleon and Macbeth are powerful leaders. The questions below start to delve into a more insightful comparison between the two men (comparative words are bolded):
Macbeth and Animal Farm: common theme = power
How do they achieve power?
In Animal Farm, Napoleon is sly about his intentions and slowly secures his power with clever manipulation and propaganda. However, Shakespeare’s Macbeth adopts very different methods as he uses violence and abuse to secure his power.
How do they maintain power?
Both Napoleon and Macbeth are tyrants who go to great length to protect their power. They believe in killing or chasing away anyone who undermines their power.
What is the effect of power on the two characters?
While Macbeth concentrates on Macbeth’s growing guilty conscience and his gradual deterioration to insanity, Animal Farm offers no insight into Napoleon’s stream of consciousness. Instead, George Orwell focuses on the pain and suffering of the animals under Napoleon’s reign. This highlights Shakespeare’s desire to focus on the inner conflict of a man, whereas Orwell depicted the repercussions of a totalitarian regime on those under its ruling.
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