In the world today, appearances play a big part in everyone’s lives. We can’t tell what everybody is thinking because their outward appearance can cover what really goes on in their heads. Shakespeare does that in the play Macbeth especially within the first Act of the play.
Act One begins with the three witches as they talk about meeting Macbeth, and they end it by saying the words “Fair is foul, and foul is fair” (1.1.10). This basically means that things are not what they appear to be. This sets the theme of deceptive appearances for the next couple of scenes, and also lets the audience know that deceptive appearances will happen as well.
Duncan is a man who can’t see past outward appearances. The first line where we see Duncan making a false judgment is when he says “No more that thane of Cawdor shall deceive out bosom interest” (1.2.63-64). This is ironic because Macbeth is the one who kills him later on in the play. He goes on to say “What he hath lost, noble Macbeth hath won” (1.2.67). This is also ironic because Macbeth is nothing close to noble. From the beginning of this play, Duncan judges books by their covers.
In scene three, it is where Macbeth and Banquo meet the three witches. Banquo says “You should be women, and yet your beards forbid me to interpret that you are so” (1.3.45-47). This is an example of an outward appearance being deceptive. Banquo believes that these witches should be women but they have male qualities which prevents Banquo from realizing the truth.
In scene four, Duncan says another ironic line: “there’s no art to find a mind’s construction in the face: He was a gentleman on whom I built an absolute trust” (1.4.12-14). Duncan is saying how he trusts him so much but is ironic because Macbeth deceives him later on in the play. Later on in this scene, Duncan makes Macbeth thane of Cawdor, and this leads Macbeth to believe that he is going to be the next king, but names Malcolm as the next king. Shakespeare then gives us...
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