The Theme Fair is Foul and Foul is Fair in Macbeth by William Shakespeare

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The Theme Fair is Foul and Foul is Fair in Macbeth by William Shakespeare

The witches in a "barren heath" are the first to mention Macbeth - thus indicating that he, the main character of the play, has, or will have a very strong tie to them and evil. Shakespeare opens the play with a dark and mysterious atmosphere, setting the mood of the play using a thunderstorm, an example of pathetic fallacy, a device used effectively throughout the play. This opening suggests that a battle is going on between good and evil; the witches reinforce this suggestion: 'When the battle's lost and won'. This play immediately gives the impression of deceit and evil scheming because as the witches riddle relates 'Fair
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Scene Three returns to the witches and we find them discussing the way in which they have 'drained' a shipman of his human quality. This can be seen as a prophecy of Macbeth's future - as he is gradually reduced to inhuman evil. There is a sense of dramatic irony as we see what the witches are up to as Banquo and Macbeth are unaware of their presence. Macbeth's statement: 'So foul and fair a day I have not seen', a repetition of what the witches earlier said, clearly links Macbeth to the witches. The witches prophecy that Macbeth will become Thane of Cawdor and King and that Banquo's children shall be kings. The two friends dispute about what the witches had to say, and there seems to be a sense of rivalry and jealousy between them.

We see Macbeth starting to tread his own path, as he feels certain that the witches' prophecies are true, especially when King Duncan bestows on him the title of Thane of Cawdor. Macbeth is already quaking - with both fear and excited anticipation - at the idea of becoming King and we hear in a soliloquy that he is already contemplating murder - high treason. Banquo is more suspicious of the 'instruments of darkness' (the witches). However, Macbeth also starts to back out of murder, thinking of a way that 'Chance' personified will be able to make him
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