Macbeth - Deception

Length: 3 Pages 809 Words

Throughout Macbeth things are not always as they seem. Deception in the play is always present, with Macbeth, Lady Macbeth and the three witches being the chief instigators of deception. From the very first scene, the deception within Macbeth’s world is clearly defined. “Fair is foul and foul is fair”, say the witches at the beginning of Macbeth. This language of contradiction that Shakespeare uses adds to the play’s sense of moral confusion and quickly introduces the theme of deception to the audience, by implying that nothing is quite as it seems. Also, the play clearly shows how living a life of deceit will ultimately end in disaster. Macbeth, evidently led by his wife, but also by his own ambitions, is guilty of deception many times throughout the play. He deceives his comrade Banquo, King Duncan, as well as his public. From the beginning he welcomes Duncan into his home, knowing that he is about to be murdered. After murdering Duncan he then goes on to kill the guards outside Duncan’s chamber to cover up for himself and make it look as though the guards committed the murder. Lady Macbeth is also one who conveys the theme of deceit in this play. She is very skilled at persuading others, especially her husban Continue...

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"To beguile the time, Look like the time, bear welcome in your eye, Your hand, your tongue: look like the innocent flower But be the serpent under't. The above quote, spoken by Lady Macbeth to her husband, shows exactly how manipulative and deceiving she can be. They deceive not by lying, rather by omitting to tell the full truth. She is finally so caught up in deception that she cannot take the stress any more. From the end results of the play, we can clearly see how deception ruins lives. Macbeth's learned evilness and deception also affects him negatively, and the quest to be king is tragic. He cautions Macbeth against taking the witches' prophecies to heart: "And oftentimes, to win us to our harm The instruments of darkness tell us truths, Win us with honest trifles, to betray's In deepest consequence. d, into believing things that are not true. This self-deception leads to many serious circumstances for them both. She schemes and plans right from the beginning to influence Macbeth to kill Duncan and make himself king. Macbeth, at the end of the play, is finally able to realize their deception, albeit too late; he now faces death at the hands of Macduff: "And be these juggling fiends no more believed, That palter with us in a double sense, That keep the word of promise to our ear, And break it to our hope. Lady Macbeth and Macbeth often attempt to use denial and rationalization to deceive themselves. They mislead Macbeth into thinking that he is invulnerable, when they are well aware of the fact that Macduff was "from his mother's womb untimely ripped. Although Macbeth, Lady Macbeth and the three witches are all able to successfully deceive other characters, the greatest act of deception in the play is that of self-deception.


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