The theme of appearance versus reality refers to the way people act differently than the way they feel and hiding their true intentions. It is pretending to be one way about a situation but feeling completely different on the inside. This is a very important theme that is shown in Shakespeare’s play Macbeth with Lady Macbeth, the witches, and Macbeth. They each hide their true feelings and intentions until it is shown in the end.
When planning the murder of Duncan, Lady Macbeth tells Macbeth that they must hide their true intentions. She says “Who dare receive it other, As we shall make our griefs and clamour roar upon his death?” (I.vii.77-79). It appears that Lady Macbeth and Macbeth are being friendly and caring, but in reality they plan to kill Duncan. They are hiding their true intentions because they do not want to seem suspicious. Lady Macbeth says “Only look up clear, to alter favour ever us fear”. (I.v.71-72). She is saying that they need to look confident. If they change the way they look they could show fear and look suspicious. Lady Macbeth appears to be very confident in her plan to murder Duncan. But in the end she begins to fall apart. She was seen sleepwalking and trying to wash her hands from blood that was not there. Lady Macbeth was putting on the appearance that she was powerful but she was actually very weak. Macbeth appears to be something that he is not. He wants to seem powerful and strong but in reality he is not. He had to kill Duncan to get what he wants, instead of waiting to see if the witches’ prophecies came true like he said he would. “Come what come may” (I.iii.146) Macbeth also did whatever his wife told him to do. Lady Macbeth made the plan to kill Duncan and she convinces Macbeth to go through with it even though he did not want to at first. Also, Macbeth showed true weakness when he started to see ghosts. Macbeth appeared as though he could be the new king but in reality he could not.
The theme of appearance versus...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document