When one reads Macbeth, they are introduced to the theme of deception and the technique of persuasion, both of which greatly influence the transformation of character in Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. Throughout Act 1, we see Macbeth begin to question his morals and values as well as the strength of his determination and ambition. We also see Lady Macbeth’s ambition and determination become fiercer to the point where it becomes violent. Act 1 also indicates the theme of deception, used by Shakespeare to incorporate the planning of Duncan’s murder, however, the murder would not have been successful without the technique of persuasion used by Lady Macbeth.
Paragraph 1: The theme of deception
To begin with, the theme of deception is used by Shakespeare to create a mysterious and suspenseful atmosphere. He does this by creating a correlation between the theme of deception and both the characters and the setting. Firstly, the theme of deception is introduced when Duncan and his followers approach Macbeth’s castle and are greeted by Lady Macbeth. Both Duncan and Banquo perceive the castle to be a cherishable and amiable place, as shown in act 1, scene 6, line 1-3 by Duncan, “This castle hath a pleasant seat; the air nimbly and sweetly recommends itself into our gently senses”. This quote is ironic due to the fact that the castle is deemed to be the location where Duncan is murdered. However, Duncan is not the only one who is deceived by the castle’s appearance. In Banquo’s metaphor, we see that Banquo is also fooled by it’s appearance, “The temple-haunting martlet does approve/By his lov’d mansionry that heaven’s breath/smells wooingly here”. This quote is significant because the martlet is a symbol of death and it also portrays dramatic irony. Another way Shakespeare incorporates deception is by imagery. When Duncan and his followers are approaching Macbeth’s castle, they are accompanied with torches, which represent light. Here, light versus dark is portrayed and the light portrays the idea that appearances can be easily deceived. Finally, another form in which deception is depicted is through characters. Towards the end of act 1, scene 6, Shakespeare incorporates deception through Lady Macbeth to deceive Duncan “Your servants ever have theirs, themselves, and what is theirs in count to make their audit at your highness’ pleasure still to return your own” (1.6.27-30). Here we see Lady Macbeth ensuring that Duncan will have a pleasant and enjoyable stay, however, little does Duncan know that she is responsible for his murder. Lady Macbeth in a way tries to earn Duncan’s trust, and the trust of his followers. Deception is also an important tool to ensure that Duncan’s murder will be successful. In scene 7, we can see that Macbeth and Lady Macbeth heavily rely on deception to ensure that Duncan’s murder will be successful, “Th’unguarded Duncan? What not put upon his spongy officers, who shall bear the guilt of out great quell?” (1.7.70-73). Deception is also shown here, when Lady Macbeth and Macbeth plan to blame his guards for Duncan’s murder. Throughout act 1 and in scene 7, we can conclude that the theme of deception is a tool used by Shakespeare to gradually prepare for Duncan’s murder incorporated through imagery, setting and characters.
Paragraph 2: The technique of persuasion
Similarly to the theme of deception, without the technique of persuasion, Duncan’s murder would be unsuccessful and the transformation of character in Macbeth and Lady Macbeth would be incomplete. Shakespeare incorporates the technique of persuasion almost entirely through Lady Macbeth. The technique of persuasion is adopted by many different formats by Lady Macbeth, such as emphasizing her own determination, accusing Macbeth of being a coward, reassurance, flattery and the questioning of Macbeth’s manhood. To start off with, Lady Macbeth uses flattery to persuade Macbeth,...