Illusion vs. Reality in Macbeth Essay

Illusion vs. Reality in Macbeth Essay

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Reality is the state of being real or actual, whereas an illusion is a mental misinterpretation of what is believed to be true. Illusions often prevent people from perceiving reality and objective truths, which consequently results in delusions, and in some cases, tragedies. In Macbeth, a play written by William Shakespeare, the theme of illusion versus reality is overtly evident in the main character, Macbeth. Macbeth frequently misinterprets illusions as the actual reality due to possessing such an untamed ambition, which ultimately ends up resulting in a series of tragic and horrific events, for Macbeth and his victims. Macbeth’s ambition first leads him into believing that he is destined to become King of Scotland, which results in Duncan’s death. Macbeth’s ambition then affects his mental health, which causes him to mistake his hallucinations for reality, eventually resulting in further detrimental acts. Finally, Macbeth’s ambition blinds him into living a life of delusion, which causes him to reach his peak of arrogance and optimism, resulting in even further detriment and ultimately his very fall. Just as ambitions are incredibly illusive and detrimental in Macbeth, they can also be incredibly illusive and detrimental in our actual, modern day society.
Macbeth’s ambition to obtain power convinces him that it is his destiny to become King of Scotland, and that he should do anything to fulfill that destiny, even if it involves him committing tremendously immoral acts such as murder. After Macbeth realizes that the witches may actually speak the truth due to the second prophecy (Thane of Cawdor) becoming true, he begins to have an eerie and frightening thought of him killing his king and friend, Duncan, in order to ac...


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...rn day society, illusive ambitions can be incredibly detrimental, just as they are demonstrated to be in Macbeth. Ambitions, if they are untamed, can be an impediment to free will; they can overpower your good conscience, possibly leading you into causing death and destruction. They can also corrupt one’s mental health, while practically morphing that person’s perception of reality into something demonstrably wrong and twisted. Finally, they can boost ones ego to a point where that person is engulfed and imprisoned in the vehemence of their own denial, which can ultimately bear fatal consequences. If one’s hopes and desires are innately destructive, then it logically follows that that one’s ambition is also innately destructive; be wary of one with an immense ambition.


Works Cited
1. Shakespeare, William. Macbeth. Signet Classic, New York, New York, 1963.

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