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Bryan Benalcazar
AP Literature
Deception and Inner Conflicts in Macbeth
In today’s world, people live through lies and within fraudulence that cause conflicts within one’s self. In Shakespeare’s Macbeth, the protagonist, Macbeth encounter inner conflicts that introduce the idea of duplicity in the text through the discrepancy of the proposed murder and the irony that is established by his ambition, which established the central theme of the play of appearance vs. reality.

The discrepancy of the proposed murder reveals Macbeth’s inner thoughts and his incapability to decide whether or not the murder is in his best interest. Macbeth states, “But in these cases / We still have judgment here, that we but teach / Bloody instructions, which, being taught, return / To plague th’ inventor” (1.7.6-10). At the beginning of the soliloquy we get a sense of reassurance that Macbeth wants to kill Duncan, but this quote is more hesitant, offering the idea that violence teaches other people to pursue violent actions. This ideal contradicts the beginning of the soliloquy with the intention of giving both sides of Macbeth’s inner conflict. After, the contradiction between his judgment and the justice bestowed, Macbeth states: “He’s here in double trust: / First, as I am his kinsman and his subject, / Strong both against the deed; then, as his host, / […] / Not bear the knife myself” (1.7.12-16). There is more discrepancy with Macbeth’s action towards Duncan because now he gives us reasons to believe that he will not kill Duncan but still remaining with the idea of him being kinsman yet he will be the one holding the knife. This then sets the tone to be ominous as we get a sense of confusion and lead to the development of Macbeth’s inner thoughts and conflict leading up to his final verdict. Through the discrepancy there is a motivating factor that enlightens the establishment of deception.

Ambition is the motivating factor for Macbeth to kill Duncan, but it is ironic...
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