Equivocation In Macbeth Essay

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The Tragedy of Macbeth
“The Tragedy of Macbeth” is a play written by William Shakespeare. The play is believed to have been written in 1605-1606. The earliest account of performance was at Hampton Court on August 7th 1606 before King James I of England and his brother-in-law, King Christian of Denmark. There is evidence that Shakespeare wrote this play to please King James I of England who had previously been crowned James VI of Scotland before succeeding the English throne in 1603 after the death of Queen Elizabeth I of England. It is believed that the play was written to please James I of England in an effort to further his theatrical company’s fortunes. Formerly known as “The Chamberlain’s Men” during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I of England,
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Equivocation by its definition is the misleading use of a term with more than one meaning or sense. This is clearly referenced by the drunken Porter, but in reality this theme of ambiguity is already introduced at the beginning of the play by the witches. “One aspect of this pervasive doubleness is in the wordplay…Second meanings, however, lurk not only under words; there are second meanings under whole speeches and actions.” (Barnet, “Introduction”, Macbeth, p lxx) –4. The most remarkable form of equivocation lies on the Second Apparition of the Bloody Child prophesizing: “The pow’r of man, for none of woman born shall harm Macbeth.” (Macbeth, Act 4, Sc 1, lines 80-81) – 7. At the begging of the play Banquo tried in vain to advise Macbeth regarding the witches: “But ‘tis strange: 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.” (Macbeth, Act 1, Sc 3, lines 122-26) – 8. It is not only until the end that Macbeth realized the witches’ deception. The climax of the play occurs during the confrontation with Macduff while he reveals that was born by C-Section instead of natural birth, bringing to light the true meaning behind the witches’ prophecy. “Accursed be that tongue that tells me so, for it hath cowed my better part of man! 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.” (Macbeth, Act 5, Sc 8, lines 16-22) – 8. The epiphany of his true fate and the clarity of the misleading words told by the witches bring Macbeth down to his reality embracing

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