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Themes such as war, guilt, murder, and corruption are common within many texts. These themes are always intertwined with each other throughout texts. two texts that contain these themes are ‘Macbeth’ by William Shakespeare and ‘The War Works Hard’ by Dunya Mikhail. The story of Macbeth is in medieval times, about a nobleman (Macbeth) who wanted the mantle of king, which was owned by his friend (King Duncan). At the beginning of the story, Macbeth and his friend Banquo find two witches who foretell that Macbeth will one day become king of the throne and Scotland. Macbeth returns to the castle and finds himself conflicted and indecisive as he is unsure whether he is to murder his friend for the throne or let the opportunity pass out. This is symbolized in Macbeth’s mind when he envisions a bloodied dagger before him, he is unsure whether to grab it or leave it be. He fights against the conflict and manages to find the audacity to murder King Duncan. Once this happens, the sons of King Duncan flee to England. Macbeth is then insecure as the witches prophesise that Banquo’s descendants will inherit the throne. Macbeth arranges Banquo and Banquo’s son Fleance’s deaths. Unfortunately, Banquo is murdered but Fleance manages to escape the assassins. Macbeth seeks guidance from the witches who still say that Banquo’s descendants will inherit the throne. Macbeth goes on a rampage, murdering many people including Macduff’s family. Macduff then seeks help from Malcolm, one of Duncan’s sons who fled the castle and persuades him to lead an army against Macbeth. Malcom’s army stays stealthy before they attack Macbeth’s castle, Lady Macbeth begins to sleepwalk and then commits suicide. During the battle Macduff challenges Macbeth, and Macbeth realizes that Macduff is the son of a cesarean birth. Macbeth acknowledges he will inevitably fail and summits to Macduff. Macduff takes the severed head of Macbeth to Malcom who is then crowned king. In The War Works Hard, Mikhail uses sarcasm, emotion, and metaphors to describe the effects of war. These texts illustrate corruption within characters in the texts. Both texts portray the results of these themes quite clearly and similarly, although these texts are also different from each other. Guilt is a common theme in both texts, the protagonist in Macbeth feels guilty of murdering King Duncan, correspondingly ‘The War Works Hard’ depicts this theme throughout the poem. War is also prevalent within these texts, in ‘The War Works Hard’ the main theme is war as it describes the results. War is also a key element when it comes to Macbeth, King Duncan rewards Macbeth for his recent success in battles and Macduff persuades Malcolm (a son of King Duncan) to lead an army against Macbeth. Murder is a continuous cycle within the play of Macbeth, an example of this is the murder of King Duncan. In ‘The War Works Hard’ murder is highlighted when the text mentions the killing of people in the war. Corruption is a key theme in both texts, in ‘Macbeth’ the Protagonist Macbeth is corrupted and murders his friends(King Duncan and Banquo). In the ‘The War Works Hard’ the author shows the corruption of war and how it ultimately has devastating effects on the family members of those in the war and the people in the war too.

Firstly, both texts convey the guilt of people who have killed others. In ‘Macbeth’, the protagonist Macbeth feels guilty after murdering his best friend (King Duncan) who had recently rewarded Macbeth by naming him the ‘Thane of Cawdor’. This theme is within the text when Macbeth is consumed by his guilt. Some examples of this are when Macbeth says “the innocent sleep”, “Sleep no more!” and “Glamis hath murdered sleep, and therefore Cawdor Shall sleep no more; Macbeth shall sleep no more”- Act 2, Scene 2. In contrast to this, in ‘The War Works Hard’ the theme of guilt is prevalent when the author says “Achieves equality between killer and killed”. This translates to the person who kills someone else having to live with the guilt of murdering others, whilst the other person faces their death. Whilst both texts convey the theme of guilt, ‘The War Works Hard’ doesn’t physically mention the guilt from war it is intended by some quotes from the poem. It is clear that guilt is a common theme between both texts and is linked to murder whilst both texts use different techniques to illustrate the guilt of characters.

Secondly, war is also a similarity between texts, in ‘Macbeth’, when Macbeth is deemed the thane of Cawdor because of his success in battles, and when Malcom’s army faces Macbeth’s. Within the play, Malcom’s army hides in the bushes and sneak attacks Macbeth’s castle, this was just after the suicide of Lady Macbeth. This is highlighted in the text when, Menteith says “The English power is near, led on by Malcom, His uncle Siward and good Macduff” and Caithness says “ Well, march we on, To give obedience where ‘tis truly owed: Meet we the medicine of the sickly weal, And within him pour we in our country’s purge, Each drop of us”-Act 5, Scene 2. This is parallel to ‘The War Works Hard’ as the whole poem embellishes the idea of war, its effects on people in the war and their families at home. Although both texts are about war, they use different language techniques. The theme of war is mentioned many times throughout the poem. For instance, “How magnificent the war is! How eager and efficient!”, “summons rain from the eyes of the mothers”, “The war continues working, day and night. It inspires tyrants” and between killer and killed, taches lovers to write letters accustoms young women to wait.”- ‘The War Works Hard’. This provides evidence that both texts are about war and how it affects those who are involved or have loved ones in the war.

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Thirdly, a common theme of both texts is murder. This appears to be a cycle in the play ‘Macbeth’ when Macbeth kills Duncan, then Banquo, Macduff’s family, and Macduff finally kills Macbeth. All of these deaths were part of the butterfly effect when Macbeth encountered the three witches who then foretold his future. Some examples of this are when Macbeth says “On thy blade and dungeon gouts of blood” and “Nature seems dead, and wicked dreams abuse the curtained sleep. Witchcraft celebrates Pale Hecate’s offerings, and withered murder.” From these quotes, it is evident that Macbeth’s mind is filled with thoughts about murdering King Duncan. However in ‘The War Works Hard’, the poem mentions the deaths of people in the war and the grief of their loved ones at home. Some examples are, “Between killer and killed, teaches lovers to write letters, accustoms young women to waiting” and “Summons rain from the eyes of mothers”. Therefore we can see that both texts revolve around murder and death, however, both texts display this theme in different ways to each other.

Another key theme in both novels is corruption, in Macbeth, we can see the corruption when Macbeth murders his best friend King Duncan for the throne, Macbeth is then overthrown by Macduff and beheaded, resulting in Malcolm becoming the king. Throughout the play, some quotes help prove that ‘Macbeth’ is about corruption. Such as, “On thy blade and dungeon gouts of blood” “Nature seems dead, and wicked dreams abuse the curtained sleep. Witchcraft celebrates Pale Hecate’s offerings, and withered murder” and “call to arms continues to sound. Both re-enter fighting, and Macbeth is slain.”-Act 5, Scene 8. These quotes suggest that the play is based on the corruption of the characters in Macbeth. Corruption in Macbeth is parallel to ‘The War Works Hard’, war is about killing others for power above them. Some quotes from the poem highlight the corruption of war. For instance, it “swings corpses through the air, rolls stretchers to the wounded”, “summons rain from the eyes of mothers”, some are lifeless and glistening, others are pale and throbbing” and “invigorates the coffin makers”- ‘The War Works Hard’. These quotes covey that the war is corrupt, as it causes people’s deaths, pain, and suffering. Therefore we can conclude that both texts are about corruption, although they’re similar, the texts tell different stories. One of a man committing mass murder for the throne, another for the war to overpower people and take over their land.

From analyzing both texts, we can conclude that themes such as guilt, murder, war, and corruption are part of both texts. Macbeth faces guilt after killing his best friend King Duncan, and people in the war face quilt after killing others or helping in the killing of others. War is common in both texts since Macbeth becomes the thane of Cawdor after successful battles and when Macbeth’s army goes to war with Malcom’s army, shortly after the suicide of Lady Macbeth. In ‘The War Works Hard’ the poem suggests that war is a devastating event and causes death and pain to those related to it. Another similar theme within the text is murder, Macbeth murders his friends (Banquo and Duncan). Mikhail uses sarcasm to emphasize the effects of the war and how it affects people. A key theme shared between both texts is corruption. Macbeth is corrupted as he murders his own best friends and he goes on a rampage killing Macduff’s family. Mikhail uses sarcasm and emotive language to portray the results of the corruption of war, Mikhail also shows how society acts towards war. Overall both texts had very similar themes, only portrayed with different techniques and structures. Both texts eloquently displayed the effects of war, corruption, murder, and guilt.                        

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