The Tragedy of Macbeth: Fair is foul, and foul is fair

519 Words3 Pages
The greatest writer in the English language, William Shakespeare, used diction, syntax, and vivid imagery to develop his own sense of style in which he employed into The Tragedy of Macbeth. He utilized his style and the most important paradox to set forth a central idea. In the exposition, the three witches stated that, “Fair is foul, and foul is fair” to set the stage, but also to foreshadow the effects of the quote on the decisions and outcomes of characters. Recognizing the use of paradoxes, and the irony in them, leaves the reader confused, pending the outcome of the plot. Ultimately, the paradox helps one understand Macbeth, a contradiction himself. All paradoxes found in Macbeth relate back to “fair is foul, and foul is fair.” The reader gets a taste of such contradictions when the three witches speak with Macbeth and Banquo. The first witch tells Banquo he is “lesser than Macbeth, and greater,” that Macbeth will become king; he will never become king, but his descendants will. The paradox prophesizes Macbeth and Banquo’s future, but it would not be effective without t...
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