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Reading Across Texts: Zuko Alone, and the Story of Azulon, Ozai, and Ursa

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A common question today is "What happened to Ursa?" And a common answer to this question is, "We are not sure. It is presumed she killed Azulon, and was banished; whether she is alive or not is unknown." This answer, as well as some school work I've been doing, has brought me to an interesting thought, which is...could the whole "situation" between Azulon, Ozai, and Ursa possibly be alluding to the Shakespeare play, "Macbeth"?

Similarities

All people will, at one point in their school life or another, have to familiarize themselves with Shakespeare classics. If you aren't, in fact, familiar with the play, "Macbeth", I suggest you turn back now, as none of this will make any sense to you. If you are, however, read on...and don't worry. I won't be using any Old English mumbo jumbo.  :)

Anyways, to the point. In Macbeth, an ambitious, trusted military official quickly becomes power-hungry. However, in my own opinion (as this is open to interpretation), He wouldn't have acted upon his ambition if not for a catalyst: Lady Macbeth. With her urging, however, Macbeth commited terrible acts, never to be spoken of on a kid's wiki. ^_^ After those terrible acts, Macbeth continually grew worse; more insane, more power-hungry, and more ambitious about nothing. Eventually, after some cockiness and "precautionary measures," Macbeth created a few more treasonous acts. These acts, as well as the original ones, led to his downfall...again, never to be discussed around here.

I don't feel that I need to explain the story of Ozai, but to ensure that those reading follow along, I will. Ozai, the son of Fire Lord Azulon, making him highly ranked in the FN government and military, grew power-hungry after seeing an opportunity to pounce on Iroh's absence. However, after his initial plans failed, Ozai's wife, Ursa, proposed a plan in which Ozai would become Fire Lord, and Ozai would usurp the throne. The plan succeeded, and Azulon was killed, presumably by Ursa (though the possibility of Ozai, and in my mind, Azula, remains). Ozai then took the throne, through the use of a coup. However, Ozai's forefathers' treacherous acts as well as his own led to his defeat at the hands of Aang, and his own son usurped the throne.

What are some similarities here?

1. Macbeth and Ozai BOTH committed foul, treasonous acts.

2. Both became the head of their respective countries (one King, the other Fire Lord), via coup.

3. Their wives both played a part in the coup.

4. Both were overly confident, cocky, arrogant, ambitious, and power-hungry.

5. Both Lady Macbeth and Ursa met a terrible fate in some way (Though not mentioned previously, Lady Macbeth died...or, commited suicide...or disappeared in some way, it's really not clear. What happened to Ursa is up in the air).

6. In the end, Macbeth and Ozai's tyranny led to their downfall, though Ozai met a more pleasant fate.

Differences

I feel no need to repeat the previous passages, so I'll go onto the list of differences.

1. Macbeth's overthrow was powered moreso by personal betrayals of Macduff (not aforementioned), rather than tyrannical acts, per Ozai's case.

2. Macbeth actually felt guilty about his actions, and nearly lost his mind because of them; Ozai showed no guilt. He was, in fact, proud of them.

3. Similarly, Lady Macbeth was driven mad by her actions, whilst Ursa was not.

4. Lady Macbeth encouraged Macbeth to murder Duncan (the king) only for the sake of power; Ursa did it out of love for Zuko.

In Conclusion...

I just thought this was an interesting thing to think about; food for thought, if you will. I'm aware that there are probably many more similarities, and many more differences; these were just the ones that stuck out to me. But I want to know what YOU think. So, do you agree that the story alludes to, or is at least similar to, Macbeth? Or, do you think I'm just some nitpicky idiot? If you think it is similar, what else do you notice?

Until next time,

(THIS SIGNATURE HAS BEEN CENSORED BY SOPA) 03:18, January 27, 2012 (UTC)

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