Appearance vs Reality in Macbeth

772 WordsJan 6, 20134 Pages
"Fair is foul and foul is fair," chant the witches in the opening scene of Macbeth. With this apparent contradiction a seed is sown for the examination of what is indeed a major theme of the play. False appearance and apparition recur regularly throughout the story. The audience and even the characters themselves are often unsure of the distinction between what appears to be real and what actually is. Shakespeare makes a great statement through the play of how easily one can deceive and be deceived. It is full of rumours and fears, vague knowledge, uncertainties, riddles and half-truths. The aforementioned witches are the embodiment of evil and equivocation. They clearly have the power to make good look evil and make evil look good.…show more content…
In Act 4 Scene 3 deceives Macduff but does but does it to elicit the truth about his appearance versus his intentions, paradoxically: “my poor country shall have more vices that it had before.” And illustrates it with limitless voluptuousness, “your wives, your daughters, your matrons and your maids” and insatiable greed: “I will cut off the nobles from their lands”. Here we see a double twist on the theme of appearance versus reality proving just how deeply it is explored here. Overall, there are multiple examples of the conflict between the truth and what we perceive. It is shown through symbols such as witches and the castle, Macbeth’s confusion between apparitions and common sense, Lady Macbeth’s evil plot versus Malcolm’s strategic and benevolent lies. “There’s daggers in men’s

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