Physical Appearance Versus True Personality Depicted in Shakespeare's Macbeth

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Today, the way people present themselves contributes greatly to other’s first impressions. However, these judgments are stereotypical views that have developed overtime throughout society, and judging people by their appearance usually results in an inaccurate view of what is on the inside. Often times, the physical appearance that is bothersome at first glance fades away as one gets to know the person’s true personality. From then on one will realize how important it is to get to know someone before judging them instead of jumping to conclusions prior to actually knowing them. In Shakespeare’s tragedy, Macbeth, the theme of appearances arises multiple times in the judgments made by the witches, Macbeth and Lady Macbeth about physical …show more content…
Knowing that Macbeth’s ambition will take over, the witches tell him this to see how far he will go to make it happen. Even though Macbeth is a loyal and good man in the beginning of the play, he should not have assumed that these evil creatures were telling him this information in order to benefit him without really knowing their background before. Therefore, it is apparent as to why one should not allow people’s appearances to lead them into believing they know their personalities. Soon after the witches call upon Macbeth to the title of Thane of Cawdor, Macbeth becomes very confused because he does not know that King Duncan has now called him to replace the old Thane of Cawdor. Macbeth questions the witches as to why they “dress [him] in borrowed clothes” (1.3. 109-10). After hearing Macbeth’s questioning, the audience realizes that changing the way someone dresses does not change who they really are inside as a person. Although the witches call Macbeth the Thane of Cawdor, he knows he is really not. Instead, they are just giving Macbeth the title of the Thane of Cawdor by calling him the by the name. In keeping with this idea, criticizer Garry Wills agrees that the physical appearance gives a person a title, but does not always change who the person really is. For example, Wills describes Macbeth putting on and taking off the robes and how it changes him from a king to a regular man on the outside, but does not
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