Elucidation Regarding the Stages Set by 'Fair is foul, and foul is fair' (I: i, 10), in William Shakespeare's The Tragedy of Macbeth

1076 Words Jul 14th, 2018 5 Pages
Shakespeare utilizes many paradoxes in The Tragedy of Macbeth to provide entertainment for the audience. The people during the Renaissance loved paradoxes because of their unique structure. In the exposition, the paradoxes the witches present, “Fair is foul, and foul is fair” (I: i, 10), sets the stages of the tragedy because it holds various significant meaning. Literally, the quotation transcends to good is bad, and bad is good; however, it actually implies that one cannot assume anything. The paradox displays the style and diction that Shakespeare continues to utilize throughout the tragedy. His style and diction supports the paradox as it creates confusion that causes the audience to recall that nothing can be assumed. In addition, …show more content…
The paradoxes cause the audience to be unsure of what to assume because the statement are contradicting. Another paradox appears, “Fathered he is, and yet he’s fatherless” (IV: ii, 27), explains the son has a father, but the father is not present; ergo, he is fatherless. This paradox initiates the argument between Lady Macduff and the son who is protecting his honorable father. He supports his father whole-heartedly and does not allow Lady Macduff to emasculate his father. These paradoxes set the stages of the plat that nothing can be assume. The imagery Shakespeare displays allows one to question Macbeth’s sanity. His sanity is question because throughout the tragedy, Macbeth always encounters supernatural elements. The first sign is unclear about whether Macbeth is insane or not occurs with the witches. Right after the war, Macbeth and Banquo encounters the three “weird sisters.” Encountering the “weird sisters” right after the war is skeptical because after war, one can potentially suffer disorders. From this occurrence, one can begin to assume about Macbeth’s sanity. Macbeth sees a flying dagger and questions his sanity, “Is this a dagger which I see before me” (II: i, 33), further displays that even he is unsure of his state of mind. In addition, he states, “I have thee not, and yet I see thee still” (II: i, 35), foreshadowing to the audience that it is not real. Furthermore, he continues, “A dagger of the mind, a false creation” (II: i, 38), indicating to the
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