Macbeth Deception

2997 Words Oct 15th, 2012 12 Pages
Theme of Deception/Deceit in Macbeth
Throughout Macbeth things are not always as they seem. Deception in the play is always present, with Macbeth, Lady Macbeth and the three witches being the chief instigators of deception. From the very first scene, the deception within Macbeth’s world is clearly defined. “Fair is foul and foul is fair”, say the witches at the beginning of Macbeth. This language of contradiction that Shakespeare uses adds to the play’s sense of moral confusion and quickly introduces the theme of deception to the audience, by implying that nothing is quite as it seems. Also, the play clearly shows how living a life of deceit will ultimately end in disaster.

Macbeth, evidently led by his wife, but also by his own
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Macbeth is forced into further and further lies, making life difficult and unbearable. Lady Macbeth is also caught in the depths of deception and eventually kills herself. Therefore, it is obvious that the main characters of Shakespeare's Macbeth are all negatively affected by the recurring theme of deception.

Throughout the play, Lady Macbeth uses her ability to mislead others in many ways. First of all, she decides to use deception to push her husband's ambition to be king.

...Hie thee hither, that I may pour my spirits in thine ear, and chastise with the valour of my tongue all that impedes thee from the golden round...(1.5.25-28)

Lady Macbeth believes that, to be successful in his ambitions, Macbeth must rise above his goodness and accept her evil ways. She knows that the process of making her husband believe what she wants may not be easy. Lady Macbeth has to be cunning, and she is up for the challenge. The thought of being in power - the King and Queen of Scotland - drives her and she cannot be stopped. Lady Macbeth often has to reinforce her immoral beliefs to her husband, giving him a boost.

Was the hope drunk, wherein you dressed yourself? hath it slept since, and wakes it now, to look so green and pale at what it did so freely? From this time such I account thy love. Art thou afeard to be the same in thine own act and valour, as thou art desire? Wouldst thous have that which thou esteem'st the ornament of life, and live a