In Shakespeare’s Macbeth, a selfish Scottish thane becomes over-ambitious and commits several murders in order to gain and stay in power. After the murders, Macbeth evades suspicion by hiding his guilt and intentions, therefore deceiving others into thinking that he is innocent. Other characters including Lady Macbeth, the witches and the Scottish thanes also use their appearances to hide the truth and deceive others. With these examples, Shakespeare shows that appearances can be deceiving. Macbeth uses his appearance to deceive others on several occasions throughout the play. For example, in Act 3, Scene 1, after hearing the witches’ prophecies and becoming the Thane of Cawdor, Macbeth begins to consider murdering the current king of Scotland, Duncan. He says: My thought, whose murder is but fantastical, Shakes so my single state of man that function Is smother’d in surmise, and nothing is, But what is not (1.3.138-141) Though he is still with Banquo and the other thanes, this quote shows that Macbeth is already thinking about murdering Duncan. He uses his appearance to cover up his thoughts about killing the king from Banquo, even though he is clearly shaken by the idea. Another example is when Macbeth hides his plan to murder Duncan from the guests at his castle. Both Macbeth and Lady Macbeth know that Duncan is going to be murdered; however, they both act and appear normal amongst their guests. Macbeth describes how he must behave when he says, “False face hide what the false heart doth know.” (1.7.82). He has to hide his intentions behind a façade in order to appear innocent. He misleads Duncan and his guests into believing that he is still a trustworthy and loyal soldier before he murders the king. After the murd... ... middle of paper ... ...he king and hide their intentions and guilt from others in order to appear innocent. The witches use their appearances to trick Macbeth by telling him prophecies that appear good, but actually lead to his downfall. Lastly, the Thane of Cawdor, Malcolm and Donaldbain’s appearances hide the truth from others, including Macduff and Duncan. The witches’ statement, “Fair is foul, and foul is fair,” best describes the idea that appearances can be deceiving (1.1.12). Each character tricks others for different reasons, whether they purposely mislead them or not. Through different characters in Shakespeare’s Macbeth, including Macbeth, Lady Macbeth, the witches and the Scottish Thanes; it clearly shows that appearances can be deceiving. Works Cited Shakespeare, William. The Tragedy of Macbeth. Boston: D.C. Heath and Company, 1915. Google Books. Web. 3 Sept. 2015.
Throughout the ages, people have been deceived by appearances. Whether it is a first impression or a superficial relationship, the old adage to “not judge a book by it’s cover” is ageless. In the play Macbeth, Shakespeare captured that aspects of deceit by creating a few characters who seem to be innocent and trustworthy, but as the play proceeds, their heart’s wickedness surpasses the fake outward appearance. People should temper judgment. Macbeth and Lady Macbeth’s innocent appearance gives way to deceitful and evil desires.
As people live their lives, they will be met with various partial truths and misleading pieces of evidence, but Shakespeare reminds us in Macbeth that people should be cautious of the words they believe. They should judge the speaker’s character before they accept anything spoken by them even if there is partial truth in the words being spoken. Set in eleventh century Great Britain, Macbeth begins with the titular character, Macbeth, killing the armies of the Irish and Norwegians for his king, Duncan. He then receives a prophecy from three witches that he will be the future king of Scotland, which leads him down a dark and bloodied road. Deception is a key theme of this book for it is how the protagonist, Macbeth, is lead astray from loyalty to his king.
Miguel de Cervantes once said that “truth will rise above falsehood as oil above water”. The tragedy of Macbeth is a strong example that reflects this reality from many points of view. The whole play opens up with this idea through the witches, but the climax and crucial meaning of this topic lays in Macbeth himself. By creating a tragic hero, whose selfish intentions are well hidden behind a mask of appearances, irony and falsity, Shakespeare conveys the idea that appearances can be deceptive but that truth will eventually be discovered and the one who hides it, punished.
In the opening scene of Shakespeare's "Macbeth," the three witches start off by chanting "Fair is foul and foul is fair". This is a obvious contradiction and paradox that will be seen throughout the entire rest of the play. The theme of appearance vs reality occurs regularly throughout the story. Even though the characters are very real in their actions and ideas many of them, through the whole story, have a hard time figuring out whether what's happening is real and what isn't. Also he says through the entire play that it's easy to be deceived and also to deceive somebody else. This play is full of smaller motifs and themes that make up the larger one I'm writing about like rumors and fears, vague language, and true stuff hidden inside riddles.
Deceitful and ruthless, in Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Macbeth shows multiple times that he is a liar and will lie to further his own ambitions/prove his innocence. For instance, after Macbeth murdered king Duncan’s guards, he lies as to why he killed them. “Th’ expedition of my violent love Outrun the pauser, reason… That had a heart to love, an in that heart Courage to make’s love known?” (Act 2, Scene 3, Lines 104-105, 111-112) Macbeth did not kill the guards out of rage and for Duncan, Macbeth killed them to prove he was loyal and innocent to the king/kings’ men and cover up the fact that he was the murderer of Duncan. If Macbeth truly loved Duncan, he would have never killed him and would had never had to kill the guards. Another example that
In the play Macbeth, Shakespeare developed the theme “appearances can be deceiving.” This relates to our society today in many different ways. One for example is that many people can hide their true colors by acting, that way they are perceived differently than how they really are. In Act 1 Scene 4 Duncan finds out from his son that the Thane of Cawdor was disloyal and helped Norway, but was caught. However, the King had a great trust in him and finds out people are able to hide what they are truly thinking. This relates to today because people can simply lie and hide who they truly are and what they actually feel. You can pretend to be somebody you are not. For example, pretending to be someone’s friend and turning around and saying rude things to them behind their back to others, this happens daily in my school.
As a result, they are being haunted by the guilt of murder but they can’t show their true emotions or else they will raise suspicions. In Act III Scene iv, Macbeth sees the ghost of Banquo at the banquet. Macbeth was confident that killing Banquo and Fleance was the right thing to do for his crown but hysterically freaks out after being visited by Banquo from the grave. Macbeth tries to ignore the ghost that is haunting him by coming up with an excuse to tell the lords. “I have a strange infirmity which is nothing / To those that know me” (3.4.85–86). Macbeth ultimately fails trying to mask his emotions and Lady Macbeth has to dismiss the
Throughout the play by Shakespeare, Macbeth, the main character Macbeth experiences drastic changes in his character. In the beginning, Macbeth is a trustworthy thane of Glamis and thane of Cawdor, he receives respect from higher authorities such as King Duncan. Readers witness a dramatic change in Macbeth’s character as he goes from an admired, well-liked nobleman, to cowardly as said by his wife Lady Macbeth, which causes him to abuse his power. No one with a favorable mentality would complete the actions Macbeth does in the duration of this play.
Williams Shakespeare Macbeth is a play which involves the king of Scotland, Macbeth and his tragic downfall due to his greed for power. Macbeth refrains from nothing to get what he wants and kills many kings, friends and innocent people that intentionally or even unintentionally stand in his way. Throughout the play, the theme “appearances can be deceiving" has been seen through not only characters but also through different courses of action. Macbeth is the main one to create a deceiving character but not the only one. Lady Macbeth and the witches are very deceiving in terms of wanting more power or just the case of being evil and creating certain situations. Shakespeare develops the theme appearances can be deceiving through Macbeth, Lady
That is why the witches told him that he is the thane of Glamis, which he already knew, Thane of Cawdor, and then tell him he will be king. The witches told him that he was the Thane of Glamis, because in his head that is where he is. They tell him that he is the Thane of Cawdor because he thinks that is what he deserves. They call him the King because even though he is the Thane of Glamis and the Thane of Cawdor, he does not believe that it is enough.Although Banquo hypocrisy makes him say that he sees the witches but, he doesn't. He simply acts like it because he is afraid of Macbeth and knows that Macbeth is a powerful man. Macbeth decides that he needs to kill King Duncan in order to become the king. Lady Macbeth goes along with it because she is power hungry. She acts like she believes everything that Macbeth says.Before Macbeth kills King Duncan, he sees daggers floating in the air, proof that he is simply losing his mind. The daggers are pointing at Duncan but Macbeth cannot grasp them. Macbeth says, “ Daggers of the mind, a false creation/ proceeding from the heat oppressed brain” (2.1.38). Macbeth then kills Duncan. After the deed is done, he hears a knocking, which is all apart of his paranoid imagination. Macbeth attempts to wash the blood of his hands but feels it is
Macbeth, a tragedy written by William Shakespeare in the 17th century, illustrates many different themes. One prominent theme, ambition, was the driving force in the play as various characters struggled to meet their goals. Macbeth’s one fatal flaw was his ambitious nature. When he was told by the witches that he would become king he took it upon himself to kill King Duncan in order to conquer his position. However, Lady Macbeth also played a crucial role in this as well. Lady Macbeth was persuasive, manipulative, and a strong influence in the murder of Duncan and the destruction of Macbeth. Ironically, Macbeth and his wife, Lady Macbeth were united and happy. It is ironic because the unity between them was due to their mutual madness, their crime and alienation from the rest of humanity. The psychological battle that Macbeth faces between good and evil shows how his deceptive behavior is directly correlated to external and internal pressures from society, as well as his own ambition and superfluous accumulation of power.
Daniel Webster once said, "The world is governed more by appearances than realities, so that it is fully as necessary to seem to know something as to know it." In other words, much of what goes on in the world is due to the masks that people wear, rather than showing their true faces. Individuals must present themselves in the way that they want others to believe they truly are. In most cases, ambitions overthrow a person's moral conscience. As their aspirations rise, they must create a false exterior in order to not reveal their traitorous secrets. The treasonous plot of William Shakespeare's play, Macbeth, causes the characters to appear a certain way in order to hide their true passions. The namesake Macbeth, his wife and many of King Duncan's
“Fair is foul, and foul is fair,/ Hover through the fog and filthy air.” (1.1. 12-13). This quote describes the main theme throughout the play Macbeth. In the William Shakespeare play Macbeth, a Scottish soldier named Macbeth is given predictions by three strange and mysterious witches. Among the predictions, Macbeth was named King of Scotland which then leads him and his wife onto a path of darkness with them stopping at nothing until Macbeth seizes kingship. Throughout the play of Macbeth, the recurring theme of appearance versus reality is shown by the characters’ actions and dialog which helps the reader’s understanding of the play. There are three main instances that this theme appears: Duncan explaining how appearances can be misleading,
Macbeth, in his reign, used deception to get what he desired. He lied to his friend Banquo, saying that he did not pay heed to what the three witches had prophesied. Banquo recalled that he had dreamt of the “three weird sisters” and goes on to comment that, “to you [Macbeth] they have show’d some truth.” (Act 2 Scene 1) Banquo is referring to the fact that Macbeth had become Thane of Cawdor, just as the second witch had proclaimed. However, Macbeth, not wanting to reveal his wife’s plan of the murder, replies, “I think not of them.” (Act 2 Scene 1) This is false as it is seen throughout Macbeth that all he has committed is due to the witches’ prophesies. Another example of Macbeth’s deception is when he is arranging the death of Banquo. Even after becoming King, Macbeth does not wish for Banquo’s son Fleance to