October 8, 2010
A Discussion of Deceit and Betrayal within Macbeth
In Macbeth by William Shakespeare
Shakespeare's play "Macbeth" is considered one of his great tragedies. In the play, Macbeth faces an internal conflict with his opposing decisions. On one hand, he has to decide of he is to assassinate the king in order to claim his throne. This would result in his death for treason if he is caught, and he would also have to kill his friend. On the other hand, if he is to not kill him, he may never realize his ambitious dreams of ruling Scotland. Another of his internal struggles is his desision of killing his friend Banquo. After hiring murderers to kill him, Macbeth begins to see Banquo's ghost which drives him crazy, possibly a result of his guilty conscience. Macbeth's external conflict is with Macduff and his forces trying to avenge the king and end Macbeth's reign over Scotland. One specific motif is considered the major theme, which represents the overall atmosphere throughout the play. In the first scene of the first act, three witches plan their next meeting in which they will encounter Macbeth. It is in this scene that the motif is first presented, as the tree witches chant, "Fair is foul, and foul is fair, hover through the fog and filthy air" (1.1.11-12). The witches meet again in scene three of act one. One of the witches discusses a curse she has placed on a woman's husband, because she refused to share her food. Macbeth enters during this scene along with Banquo, arriving from a victorious battle. He uses the motif to describe the day as "So foul and fair a day I have not seen" (1.3.38). When Macbeth encounters the witches, they give him two predictions. One is that he will become the thane of Cawdor, and then the king of Scotland. When hearing this, Macbeth immediately begins to plan his methods of obtaining these positions, including the murder of the king. Because of...
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