Macbeth by Shakespeare and Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte have a similar theme. In both the novel and play, there is a contender edging somebody else on. In Macbeth, Lady Macbeth edges Macbeth on to first killing King Duncan and other people. In Jane Eyre, Jane pushes Rochester not to be scared and to let go of the safety nets and trust in others. In Macbeth, Macbeth turns from having a pure heart to a black and evil heart, while Rochester changes from having a closed heart to an open and trusting heart.
At the beginning of the play, Macbeth is seen as a courageous soldier who is loyal to the King but is corrupted from the witches’ prophecies and by his and Lady Macbeth’s ambition. This is because of the weakness of Macbeth’s character and the strong power of Lady Macbeth and how she is easily able to influence him. Her strength motivates him at the start but after, he realizes what he has done, but still decides to continue to go down his murderous, bloody path. At the beginning of the play Lady Macbeth appears as a kind wife of Macbeth’s but underneath lays a scheming and treacherous woman. She watered his seed and started the never-ending growth of the beanstalk from Jack and the Bean Stalk. Macbeth however was his own sunlight and let the plant just keep on growing higher with more and more thorns.
The first time she waters the seed is when they first hear that King Duncan is sleeping over their house that night. Lady Macbeth asks her husband when the King would leave. Macbeth answers that the king would leave the following day. Lady Macbeth tells him otherwise however. “O, never shall sun that morrow see… Your hand, your tongue: look like th’ innocent flower, but be the serpent under’t.” She tells him that she has to kill the king and nobody would expect it because he is being hospitable and letting the king stay at his house. To the King Duncan and the rest of the people, Lady Macbeth seems to be a nice sweet lady. However, she is really tricky and conniving. At First, Macbeth tries to back out last minute. He says, “We will proceed no further in this business: he hath honored me of late, and I have bought golden opinions from all sorts of people, which would be worn now in their newest gloss, not cast aside so soon.”
He says that the king has only been nice to him and is a wise man and does not want to get rid of him so soon. Lady Macbeth shrewdly answers that he is a coward for not wanting to go through with it and that he is not a man unless he does. Macbeth is convinced by her argument and decides to go through with it. Later that night while the king was fast asleep, Macbeth killed him. After the murder, Macbeth got paranoid and started to kill people left and right in order to make sure nobody would find out about the assassination he commit against King Duncan. That is an example of how Lady Macbeth stated the seed to sprout, but once it would come out of its shell, Macbeth could not put it back and instead would make it keep on growing until it would kill him.
Jane Eyre and Edward Rochester are soul mates. When two people are meant for each other, they feed off of each other. In this particular case, Mr. Rochester feeds off of Jane more then the other way around. When they first meet at Thornfield, Rochester is cold and bitter while Jane is trying to be as nice and warm as she can be. When he falls off of his horse, he sprained his ankle. When she sees him fall, she runs to him and asks, “Are you injured, sir?” before even finding who he is or where he comes from. Her primary focus is to make sure that he is all right. He keeps telling her to go home but she insists on helping him. Later in the conversation, he realizes who she is but still has no idea who he is. Only later she learns who is the man she helped. That is the first time he meets someone who is nice to him without having secret intentions behind it to get a reward or just to get on his good side. From that moment on Jane and Rochester feed off each other to grow to become happy people.
A few weeks after Rochester fell off his horse, somebody tried to kill Rochester by putting his room on fire during his sleep. It is suspected to be Bertha, his crazy wife. Jane sees smoke come out of Rochester’s room. She runs to his room and puts out the fire and saves his life. He feels indebted to her and invites Jane to have dinner with him. They both think the other one is not so physically attracted. After speaking during dinner however, they start to like each other’s personalities. He later throws a party where a beautiful lady by the name of Blanche Ingram attends. Rochester and her are suppose to get married but Jane gets in the way. Rochester realized that he could not marry Ingram because he realizes that he is in love with Jane. After many incidents and complications to get married, Jane runs away.
While she is away, Bertha Mason, a crazy woman who is Rochester’s first wife, burns down the house and kills herself and at the same time blinding Rochester. Jane hears Rochester screams her name about a year after she leaves. She magically hears it somehow and is able to tell that the person shouting is Rochester. She goes back to Thornfield and they marry. While he is blinded, he trusts her with his life and lets her guide him everywhere without being scared. A few months after they get married, thanks to her love for him and his love for her, he is able to see again.
Shakespeare’s Macbeth and Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre are two great stories that share a theme. Although the outcomes are complete opposite, they both have someone affecting the other person in a positive or negative way. In Macbeth, unfortunately, the evil seed grew inside Macbeth’s body and caused him to go on a murder rampage. In Jane Eyre, fortunately, Jane is there to kill the sprout of the bad plant and implant a kind-hearted, lively, and firm maple tree.