Throughout Macbeth things are not always as they seem. Deception in the play is always present, with Macbeth, Lady Macbeth and the three witches being the chief instigators of deception. From the very first scene, the deception within Macbeth’s world is clearly defined. “Fair is foul and foul is fair”, say the witches at the beginning of Macbeth. This language of contradiction that Shakespeare uses adds to the play’s sense of moral confusion and quickly introduces the theme of deception to the audience, by implying that nothing is quite as it seems. Also, the play clearly shows how living a life of deceit will ultimately end in disaster.
Macbeth, evidently led by his wife, but also by his own ambitions, is guilty of deception many times throughout the play. He deceives his comrade Banquo, King Duncan, as well as his public. From the beginning he welcomes Duncan into his home, knowing that he is about to be murdered. After murdering Duncan he then goes on to kill the guards outside Duncan’s chamber to cover up for himself and make it look as though the guards committed the murder.
Lady Macbeth is also one who conveys the theme of deceit in this play. She is very skilled at persuading others, especially her husband, into be She is telling Macbeth to look and act pure, but to be evil inside. ”
However, Macbeth does not heed Banquo’s words of wisdom, and allows the witches to further deceive him with words that have double meanings and misleading messages, such as those spoken about Birnam Wood coming to Dunsinane and that “none of woman born shall harm Macbeth”. The three witches portray the theme of deception in a different way.
Banquo suspects their deception and treachery early on in the play, just after Macbeth has received the title of Thane of Cawdor. The deception once foregrounded as an advantageous quality has now led to this self-deception, craziness, and Lady Macbeth’s eventual suicide. She schemes...