Illusion vs. Reality in Macbeth

1086 Words5 Pages
What Can You Really Believe: Illusion vs. Reality in Macbeth What is reality? Do you honestly believe that everyone shows his or her true selves openly? Think again! Many characters in Macbeth, by William Shakespeare, are two-faced. Two examples of these people are Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. These characters all put on false faces to impress people or hide things from people. The witches also kept repeating a quote that has a lot of meaning. They continued to say “foul is fair and fair is foul.” (I.i.12) This means that what seems right isn’t really right and what seems wrong isn’t really wrong. So the whole play is about false faces and how someone who seems normal and innocent isn’t really. The witches also seem to be an illusion. They are in a way human like, but at the same time they are also fake. They talked to Macbeth and told him three prophecies, which caused him to become greedy and kill King Duncan. The first time they told him what they saw was in Act 1. They said All hail, Macbeth! Hail to thee, Thane of Glamis! All hail, Macbeth! Hail to thee, Thane of Cawdor! All hail, Macbeth, that shalt be King here- After! (I.i.1-6) These prophecies didn’t seem to be realistic at first. But when he was made Thane of Cawdor, because the other thane was a traitor, he began to become a little power hungry. He thought that if one of the prophecies came true, so would the other. He couldn’t wait, he told Lady Macbeth, who then made a plan to make it happen faster. Her plan was to invite the king over, kill him, and make it look like his guards committed the murder. The witches are nonrealistic as shown they made some things up and caused a lot of trouble by doing so. Also, at the banquet for the new king, Macbeth, Macbeth thought that he saw a ghost, although he was the only one who could see it. It was the ghost of Banquo, who should have become king rather Macbeth. He was sitting in the chair where he would have been sitting had he become king. This is how it was meant to be, with Banquo being king. Another example of the illusion vs. reality theme was when the witches showed Macbeth the three apparitions. They show him an armed head, a bloody child, and a child crowned bearing a tree.

More about Illusion vs. Reality in Macbeth

Open Document