Self-Deception in Macbeth

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In the words of Bemos Thenes, “Nothing is easier then self-deceit for what man wishes that he also believes to be true.” Self deception is a human weakness. It means that even though something maybe wrong and untrue if an individual believes it enough it will come to pass. No matter what someone may say, it is hard to change ones opinion because that is what the person truly believes. This is portrayed in William Shakespeare’s play, Macbeth, through the actions of various characters. Shakespeare clearly shows the idea of self-deception through their actions and how this self-deception leads to moral disorder.

Macbeth is a play that is all about deception. Right from the beginning when the three witches meet to talk, the mood being nothing is quite as it seems is set when they say “Fair is fowl and foul is fair, Hover through fog and filthy air” (I: I: 11-12). This quote makes it seem that something bad is going to happen soon, and it also makes the mood seem dark and sinister. The three witches have a large role in causing characters such as Macbeth and Lady Macbeth to become self-deceit. The three witches know exactly what is going to happen if they tell Macbeth their prophecy, but they decide to tell him in a way that he interprets all wrong, and doesn’t give him much thought for Macbeth. Hecate, the main witch, says to the three witches “And all you know security is mortals chiefest enemy.” (III: V: 32-33). This means that comfort and over confidence in yourself is the worst thing for you; it will ultimately bring you to your downfall, which is exactly what they are trying to do to Macbeth.

Although the witches forced Macbeth to be self-deceit, Lady Macbeth did to. Lady Macbeth is a character that is very good at persuading to get what she wants. She was the one who pushed Macbeth to murder Duncan even when he had his doubts, she made him believe everything would work out and that it was the right thing to do, she made his self-deceit. By saying “Look...
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