“Macbeth” is a play written by the famous William Shakespeare. It is considered one of Shakespeare’s darkest and powerful tragedies. The play focuses on Macbeth who chooses evil to fulfill his ambition for power, causing his tragic downfall. Early in the play, the audience is introduced to one of the major themes. The witches said, “Fair is foul and foul is fair” (I.i.10). This is a paradox that is presented by the witches that means “good is bad and bad is good.” In other words, the witches are saying that things are not what they seem.
Throughout the play, the idea of deceptiveness of appearances occurs. In the beginning of the play, Macbeth is introduced as a brave and loyal general of Scotland. However, when the witches tell him that he is destined to be King, he believes it and becomes obsessed with it. Because of this, Macbeth’s character shifts throughout the story. The once noble man becomes the evil, murderous tyrant.
Many characters in the play are unable to identify goodness from evil. King Duncan said, “There is no art to find the mind's construction in the face/He was a gentleman whom I built an absolute trust” (I.iv.11-12). Even as the King, he admits that he cannot look through a person. He cannot see the real desires and thoughts of a human being, thus showing Duncan’s fatal flaw. He is too trusting. That being said, Macbeth, who King Duncan thought was an honorable man, turned out to be the one who ended his life.
Macbeth is not the only one that embodies evil and deceit. Lady Macbeth is also an example that defines the idea of appearance versus reality. Being a woman, Lady Macbeth would not be perceived as something that is unpleasant. However, the moment she learns that her husband is destined to be King, she immediately asks the dark forces to help her with her plans for Macbeth. Lady Macbeth said, “Look like the innocent flower/ but be the serpent under't” (I.iv.76-78). In this line, she instructs her husband to...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document