Cruelty In Macbeth And The Poisonwood Bible

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Cruelty exists in many forms, just as it has a multitude of affects on different people and characters. In both The Poisonwood Bible by Barbra Kingslover and Macbeth by William Shakespeare, the nature, will, and personalities of the characters are put to the test in response to cruelty. As demonstrated in both of these novels, cruelty can shape a character by revealing the true nature of the victim and bringing guilt upon the perpetrator, which proves that cruelty is the driving force in character development. In The Poisonwood Bible, Nathan Price brings his family to the Congo on a conversion mission, and it quickly becomes obvious that he cares more about the mission than his own family. In this way, Nathan is an example of a perpetrator of cruelty; for example, when the Price’s first arrive in Kilanga, the village people are in the middle of a celebration when Nathan begins to put them to shame and scorn their lifestyle and rituals. At this point, Lean still agrees with his teachings, and Orleana still respects him because his cruelty is still at a minimum. As time passes, Nathan neglects his family and attempts to force Christianity upon the villagers, even though they consistently deny the religion. In response to realizing how cruel Nathan is, Leah begins to develop her own morals and strays from her…show more content…
A victim who suffers cruelty is altered and developed by the abuse, and a perpetrator of cruel actions, though often seen as the villain, may suffer through an aftermath of guilt. Both of these examples prove that cruelty is key in character development; victims respond by maturing greatly and discovering what they stand for, while perpetrators are haunted by the guilt of the cruelty of their actions. Whether a character is on the dealing or the receiving end of cruelty and abuse, their true natures are revealed based on how they respond to the
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