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Macbeth - Deception

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 husband, into believing things that are not true. She schemes and plans right from the beginning to influence Macbeth to kill Duncan and make himself king. “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. She is telling Macbeth to look and act pure, but to be evil inside. The three witches portray the theme of deception in a different way. They deceive not by lying, rather by omitting to tell the full truth. They play with Macbeth right from the start by greet him as ‘Thane of Glamis, Thane o...

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Macbeth - Deception. (1969, December 31). In DirectEssays.com. Retrieved 10:10, October 01, 2014, from http://www.megaessays.com/viewpaper/16376.html