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Appearance and Reality in Macbeth
Appearance does not always agree with reality. A limited view on an event or a subject will likely lead to a limited or even false conclusion. For example, in Shakespeare’s tragic play Macbeth, the Scottish nobles viewed main character Macbeth as a "bloody tyrant"; for the readers, Macbeth is not total evil character, but nearly a hero with much physical strength and greatness. Only if he didn’t betray his king, he would’ve been a great thane. This essay is going to be dealt with this difference in appearance and reality of Macbeth
Macbeth is a deranged, old man with flashes of former greatness. He came into the play as a man of honor respected by his fellow soldiers, and has shown great bravery and physical strength, fighting under King Duncan. As reported by the bloody general "Disdaining fortune, with his brandished steel…smoked with bloody execution…carved out his passage…fixed his head upon our battlement." (I, ii, 15-25) From this quote we can image Macbeth’s heroic qualities: courage, bravery and unstoppable. King Duncan greatly praised Macbeth for the Bravery and Loyalty, but what he didn’t see from Macbeth’s face (Appearance) is the dark desire of Macbeth who is planning to murder the king (reality).
From this point on, as the witches’ prophecies come in and Macbeth’s ambition aided by Lady Macbeth, this heroic character in both the reader’s mind and Scottish noble’s mind started its downfall. After the murdered King Duncan, quoted from Banquo "…and I fear thou play’dst most foully for ’t." (III, I, 3) all Scottish nobles are suspicious about Macbeth of murdering King Duncan. Ever after, Macbeth seems to believe in his philosophy "things bad begun make strong themselves by ill", (III, iii, 55) and try to cover up his murder by killing more and more. At last, his ambition drove him from a hero to a tyrant that "blisters…tongues" (VI, iii, 10-15)
Flashbacks of Macbeth’s greatness once again reappear at the end of his tragic story in the speech "tomorrow, and tomorrow and tomorrow…." (V, v, 15-30) Through this speech we can feel his sadness and rage toward his meaningless life "life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player, that struts and frets his hours upon stage, and then is heard no more." When Macbeth realized the prophecies of his crisis coming, he said "if this which he avouches does appear,/there is nor flying hence nor tarrying here.
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