Often times in our world, it can be agreed that not everything is what it seems. People, events, and nature often display signs of one thing while signifying something completely different in actuality. This may consequently lead to confusion between what is real and what is just a figment of the imagination. Authors often pick up on this theme of appearance vs. reality, and use it to enhance their works. William Shakespeare’s Macbeth includes the theme of appearance vs. reality through the Macbeths’ covering of the appending murders, as well as in the couples’ reoccurring hallucinations, which are ultimately used to display the corruptness of ambitious human nature.
The theme of appearance vs. reality is depicted through Macbeth and Lady Macbeth’s deceitfulness when hiding the murders they were soon to play a role in. The first instance occurs when the Macbeths decide to murder their noble king, Duncan. After discovering the weird sister’s prophesy that he will become king, Macbeth realizes that the greatest obstacle before him is the living king himself. His wife, therefore, tells him to abandon his kindness, his loyalty, and his emotions, and dispose of Duncan. Obediently and ambitiously, Macbeth betrays the king by inviting him as a guest in his castle, Inverness, and acts benevolently towards him to mask his true evil intentions. Another instance occurs when the plot to murder Banquo is revealed. Macbeth realizes that all problems have not been avoided; that a extreme threat to his power lies within Banquo and his young son Fleance. He understands that since the weird sister’s first three predictions came true, that their final prediction, that Banquo’s lineage will gain the thrown, will come true, as well. Hence he plots deviously with his wife. They discuss how they will invite Banquo to their estate where he will be killed by hired murderers. Similarly to Lady Macbeth’s advice regarding Duncan’s murder, Macbeth urges his wife, “…Let your remembrance...
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