Macbeth Equivocation Essay

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The story of William Shakespeare’s Macbeth is a classic one of betrayal and destiny. One of the major themes of the play is the use of equivocation to create ambiguity. The definition of equivocation from the Oxford dictionary is: the use of ambiguous language to conceal the truth or to avoid committing oneself; prevarication. The very definition of equivocation contains the use of ambiguity, thus making the two very connected in terms of the story of the play. Equivocation is used multiple times throughout the piece to create a sense of uncertainty, which in turn makes the reader not sure of what will happen next. This makes the reading of the play very compelling. Shakespeare uses equivocation to make the reader think one thing,…show more content…
Macbeth himself is written like a double meaning, having the characteristics of one personality, while possessing the features of another. Macbeth, being the title character, is the main focus of the story. He is the protagonist. In the beginning, Shakespeare writes Macbeth as being the noblest of warriors. It is only after Macbeth learns from the witches that he will become the King that his personality begins to change. He goes from being the quintessential protagonist, to a scheming and paranoid villain. He schemes with Lady Macbeth to kill King Duncan, who is portrayed as a kind and just ruler. In the act of killing Duncan, Macbeth becomes the antagonist and Macduff, the one who makes it his mission to dethrone Macbeth. Because of Macbeth’s status as a tragic hero, he falls from grace and heroism to shame and villainy. These characteristics are conflicting, therefore making Macbeth a walking equivocation, a living embodiment of a double meaning. This makes the reader unsure of Macbeth’s fate. Shakespeare makes the audience unsure of what Macbeth will do next, if he will redeem himself or continue on his downward spiral of darkness. William Shakespeare uses the uncertainty and ambiguity that accompanies the theme of equivocation to make the reader not know what to expect. Equivocation is used to showcase the tragic hero fall that Macbeth experiences. Without the use of equivocation, the story would be more predictable
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