Every person at some point in their life experiences change, but what if that change will be what leads one ultimately to a tragic downfall? William Shakespeare once said , “We know what we are, but not what we may be”, meaning we know who we are today, the person we were in the past, but no idea as to what the future holds. In Shakespeare’s, Macbeth, and Fitzgerald’s, The Great Gatsby, it is through the greed of the women, the obsessive thoughts of the men, and the overarching theme of wealth, that leads noble characters to an unexpected downfall.
Women traditionally tend to be submissive in many cases, but in these two texts, they are portrayed as very manipulative and greedy. In, Macbeth, Lady Macbeth in my opinion is at fault for her husband’s tragic demise. Lady pushes her husband to his limits and makes him commit murder for her own personal gain, but she never appears to be satisfied with her riches and the positions of power that she continues to move higher in. She convinces Macbeth that he must prove himself and most of all, make her happy. Lady Macbeth tells her husband that he is not manly enough to complete the tasks she wishes, which only pushes him harder because his pride was hurt. She truly only wants Macbeth to strive for the title of King because she wants to become stronger for selfish needs, not for her husband’s own good.
In, The Great Gatsby, Daisy Buchanan, also appears as a very selfish character. Her top priorities seem to be power and where she can stand on that pedestal. In the novel, Daisy married Tom because by doing so, she would remain in a position of power in society, but she would also stay wealthy. Daisy was satisfied with this marriage because she lives a life of luxury and upper class. Daisy mentions that she does not know what she will do with her life in the days that are to come, but since she has chosen to live for the moment, her future is not destined to be positive. Thus, Lady Macbeth and Daisy’s ambitions for power and riches become the main concept as to why their lives are lead to a downfall. Both women only cared about being of high power for today, but neither considered what the future will bring if they continues on this path. Daisy returned to an unhappy relationship, but Lady Macbeth was so overly consumed with guilt from every scenerion she caused, that she commits suicide, so all the power she was striving for, ultimately kills her. The men of the novel have obsessive thoughts and will risk everything to achieve what they believe to deserve.
In, Macbeth, Macbeth is a very ambitious character who begins as a noble man and ends as a fiend. He firstly takes advice he hears from three witches who he believes know his future and what it entails. Macbeth becomes obsessed with what the witches tell him and begins to attempt and make the prophecies of kingship come true.