Why Darth Vader is, essentially, Shakespeare’s Macbeth


The character of Darth Vader – aka Anakin Skywalker – is definitely complex. Represented and explored in the most depth in the Star Wars prequels, some may say that Skywalker was only stupid to be tempted by the Dark side, and that he could have had his happy ending with his beloved Padme Amidala. Others say that Anakin always had the Dark side in him anyway. Some truth lies, certainly, in both interpretations.

I truly think that in a way Skywalker was never completely the master of his own destiny. Indeed, since the beginning of his story in The Phantom Menace, Anakin has to been deemed the chosen one due to his amazing capability and, later, he continues to induce this belief with his Jedi skills. He has to equilibrate the Force, is given a task and yet he is never asked what he truly wants. First pushed by his mother to leave and be trained as a Jedi, then arguably further by Padme as he wants to impress her, Anakin has to become a person that he is not to accomplish the fate laid out for him.

This picture of Darth Vader can oddly enough be related to one of the most famous Shakespeare’s characters, Macbeth. Indeed, whereas Macbeth coming back from the war is approached by three witches prophesying that one day he will be king, Skywalker is first depicted as the chosen one by the Jedi’s and then as a powerful Sith, that can defeat death, by Palpatine. Both became tragically what was predicted, as Macbeth became king, Skywalker became a powerful Sith, however he is never able to defeat death, and some may say that he does indeed bring balance to the force by leaving only two Jedis alive against two Sith.

What’s more, as Skywalker accomplished his destiny, he killed Padme whilst trying in fact to save her. On the other side of the coin, Lady Macbeth died because of the murders Macbeth committed to please her and make her his Queen. The only difference here is, perhaps, that Padme was not eager of power as was Lady Macbeth – but both of these ladies caused what their husbands became, as well as the death of many others.

Later, when Anakin fully embraced the Dark side of the Force it ended in a bloodbath, first only with the Jedi and their young pupils, then spreading death across the Galaxy. Macbeth also started to slaughter those in his way to the crown, but then started to spread that among their wives and children, even if they did not present an immediate danger to him.

At the end, the tales of both end as their prophecies said they were going to. One by the hand of a man not born of a women, the other by the one who will bring back the Force. Therefore, even if their motives are quite different, both characters are behaving in the same way driven by a prophecy, by eagerness of power, by love.

Both of these famous characters may be said to be played by fate while trying to accomplish their destiny, also they end by doing exactly what they intended to avoid. By attempting to avoid their fate, they became it. Victims of what people wanted them to be, they are good examples for everyone: trying to do your best whenever you can and to do something for you and only you without caring of anyone’s opinion or prejudices that one may have against you.


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Second year Business Student. Loves Sherlock, writing, books and coffee.

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