William Shakespeare’s Macbeth, and Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol parallel each other on many levels. Macbeth is a play that describes the rise and fall of a ruler who believes nothing can harm him, so the lead character, cleverly called Macbeth, attains power whenever possible, not caring who he hurts or what he destroys in the process. A Christmas Carol is also about the rise and fall of a town leader, the richest man in town, Ebenezer Scrooge. Scrooge’s hunger for wealth and power is illustrated and the reader can see how an too much ambition can plague a man until it’s too late. Both Macbeth and A Christmas Carol are similiar because they show how the hunger for wealth and power can destroy lives, whether it’s in Shakespeare’s time, of Dickens’.
We see an obvious similarity in both works of literature in the beginning. Both Macbeth and Ebenezer Scrooge receive supernatural guests. Macbeth is visited by a trio of foul witches, after a long and exhausting battle with the Norwegian army. These witches predict that Macbeth will become king of Scotland and Banquo, Macbeth’s partner, shall beget a line of Scottish kings. These prophesies are important to the plot and how it progresses, just like the ghosts are imperative to the story of Ebenezer Scrooge. In his case, Scrooge was visited by three ghosts of Christmas. The Ghost of Christmas Past, Present, and Yet To Come. These ghosts show Scrooge his happiness as a child, his present situation of unstability with family, and Bob Crachit’s fate, and his future yet to come, death. These predictions also played an important role in the book, for Scrooge changed his ways in the end.
The way the characters believed in the supernatural predictions also parallels one another. Macbeth kills the king of Scotland, after his wife’s nagging, because he believed he would be come king. King Duncan’s heirs fled to England, and the witches were right, Macbeth became king. If he hadn’t believed in their prophesy, than nothing would have changed in his or any of the people of Scotland’s lives. In Scrooge’s case, his accepting of the ghost’s predictions proved to be good for his fate. He is overwhelmed by the his future if he refuses to change, so he does change, and by a miracle he is a completely new man. He accepts Christmas, helps Tiny Tim, and gives to charities all over his town. The way both of these characters believe in the prophesies of witches and ghosts both paralleled each other.
But the overall theme of both works of literature is the major parallel. Ambition and lust for wealth and power can destroy. In Macbeth’s case, Malcolm, King Duncan’s heir, raises an army in England and attacks Scotland. During all of this, Lady Macbeth kills herself after going insane with sleep deprivation and seeing visions of blood on her hands. Macbeth is then killed by Macduff, who is a noble siding with Macolm, the heir that eventually inherits his rightful throne. In A Christmas Carol, Ebenezer Scrooge loses his engagement with Belle as a young man, because Belle believes that Scrooge’s love for money would outweigh any kind of love he could ever feel for her. Scrooge’s wealth and power keep growing as the years grow by, and also as the people that love him seem to distance themselves more and more from him. These two works of literature both show the reader that ambition and lust for power and money can ruin lives.
Both A Christmas Carol and Macbeth have strong moral themes, and the way both Dickens and Shakespeare weave together the characters, plot and theme showcases their tremendous writing ability. The supernatural forces in both Shakespeare’s and Dickens’ work also help show the moral struggle inside of the characters. These two works of literature parallel each other on many levels, mostly on the supernatural forces helping urge the plot along, and the moral factors in both works of literature. These parallels in such a long span of time show the world’s opinion of ambition and lust for power, and also show that stories like these can happen today, if we aren’t careful.