Don't Judge a Book By its Cover: Macbeth by William Shakespeare Essay

Don't Judge a Book By its Cover: Macbeth by William Shakespeare Essay

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“Fair is foul, foul is fair” is one of the biggest themes in the play Macbeth, by Shakespeare. The quote is first spoken by the witches in the first scene of the play when they are discussing where and when they will encounter Macbeth, but is carried out throughout the whole play by unfolding events. By “fair is foul, foul is fair” the excerpt is talking about how thing and people might not be how they are perceived by one person. Someone who may convey the impression that they are innocent and charming, may turn out to be the most deceitful person around. Or how one scenario may seem like the best thing for one person and benefit them greatly, could be foul to everyone else. Shakespeare has a great deal of examples of this theme throughout Macbeth. Some of these include, the battle Scotland was in against Norway and the Scottish rebels, how Lady Macbeth is preserved and how she tells Macbeth to act, and lastly Macbeth killing King Duncan.
One way Shakespeare shows “fair is foul, foul is fair” in Macbeth is right near the beginning. Macbeth and Banquo are headed to the king’s court at Forres, and pass through the heath that the witches are residing in. Just as they enter the scene Macbeth comments, “So foul and fair a day I have not seen” (1, 3, 39). Macbeth observes that the day is ‘foul’ because so many lives were lost in the battle against the Norwegians and Scottish rebels. After the battle the army was also experiencing poor and dreary weather. Despite the lives that were lost and the weather they came out victorious and caught the traitors. This shows that even though they day may have been great for most of Scotland, there was still much grief for others who lost their lives and family members.
Another way “fair is foul, fo...


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...nd him.
Summarising, throughout the play we can see that “foul is fair, fair is foul” is shown recurrently throughout the play Macbeth. The concept shows that nothing is as it seems and many things in life may appear foul on the outside, but they really are fair on the inside. Many examples such as, the battle Scotland was in against Norway and the Scottish rebels, how Lady Macbeth is preserved and how she tells Macbeth to act, and Macbeth killing King Duncan, show how important this theme is to the play. In life the quote “don’t judge a book by its cover” may be a recurring message. Just like “foul is fair, fair is foul” things that happen in life may not be the way they can be perceived at first glance, the real and true part of it just needs to be revealed.



Works Cited

Shakespeare, W., & Kortes, M. (1988). Macbeth. Toronto: Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich Canada.

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