Analysis Of Shakespeare 's Macbeth 's ' Macbeth '

1250 WordsApr 25, 20165 Pages
Deemed Shakespeare’s shortest and most bloody tragedy, Macbeth is the tale of a valiant Scottish general whose unchecked ambition elicited his transformation into an immoral and tyrannical ruler. The story follows Macbeth’s encounter with the three Weird Sisters whose ambivalent “prophecies” prompted him to murder King Duncan and ultimately triggered his moral decline. Most prominent in the play is the theme of equivocation and a pervasive feeling of uncertainty is felt throughout the entirety of the play. The uncertainty is caused by several instances of elusiveness and the storyline is exacerbated by situations containing paradoxical elements that flaw Macbeth’s moral judgments. This paper aims to examine the effect of ambiguity in the play and the role it plays in Macbeth’s downfall. Several prominent characters in the play make use of equivocations to hide their treacherous intentions and some even come to recognize the danger of equivocal language. The three witches, the porter and Macbeth are the most significant characters who take part in acts of subterfuge. However, despite his own usage of double speak, Macbeth becomes a victim to the speech manipulation of the Weird Sisters and regrettably fails to see the hidden deception in the witches’ words. The most famous paradoxical line of the witches: “Fair is foul and foul is fair” (1.1.11) visits the tragedy in various forms and embodies the very essence of the play. It warns the audience that all events, things and
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