In the tragedy Macbeth, written by William Shakespeare, there are multiple instances where events are seldom what they seem. The ideas of equivocation and contradiction stem from Shakespeare’s very own life. Some of these contradictions include how little education he had in England as an adolescent, yet he is now considered one of the most renowned writers of all time. In addition, in his youth his father was a glover but years later became a high government figure. Shakespeare wrote about the notion of contradictions in many of his plays, but especially in Macbeth. Shakespeare’s use of equivocation and paradox in Macbeth originates from the prophecies told by the Weird Sisters, his own mental ambivalence to kill King Duncan, and Macduff’s opinion that Macbeth was the au courant King of Scotland.
The prophesies of the Weird Sisters’ speeches are full of paradox and equivocations, starting with their statement made in the beginning of the play that “fair is foul and foul is fair.” (I.i.12). The witches’ prophesies are equivocal, and the alliteration used with rhymed couplets subsidize the bewilderment in their words. As author William Preston Johnstone states, “It was through this high poetic and philosophic power, this eminent gift of imagination and understanding working together, that William Shakespeare produced the terrible and highly idealized conception of supernatural agency embodied in the Weird Sisters” (Paul.) It is not surprising that these witches are able to easily confuse Macbeth throughout the course of the play. Most of the time the equivocations need to be read two or three times in order to understand what the witches are trying to communicate to each other about the prophesi...
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...litical revenge that leads to murder- it’s the need for revenge. This is a paradox in and of itself.
In final analysis, Shakespeare’s use of equivocation and paradox in Macbeth originate from the prophecies told by the Weird Sisters, his own ambivalence over killing King Duncan, and Macduff’s opinion regarding Macbeth being the au courant King of Scotland. Beginning with the Weird Sisters in the very first scene of Macbeth, equivocation and paradox in all its forms, whether the incomprehensible speech of the witches or unnatural murder, is woven into the fabric of this play. All of these examples contribute to the overall theme of the play; the use of paradox and equivocation gives the reader a sense of appreciation of Shakespeare’s techniques as a world-renowned playwright. did i answer the question about if the examples contribute to the overall theme of the play?
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