Macbeth Appearance vs Reality Essay

1037 Words Dec 6th, 2012 5 Pages
Appearance vs. Reality
The role of deception and the motif of appearance and reality had a large role in Shakespeare’s play, Macbeth. The motif of appearance and reality is first introduced by Shakespeare early on in the play when Macbeth must cover up for the murder of Duncan. This motif of appearance versus reality, or deception, appears again when Macbeth fools the murderers that killed Banquo. Macbeth tricks the murderer’s into believing it was Banquo’s fault that they led such miserable lives when in reality Banquo had nothing to do with them. Finally, the reader sees this motif of appearance versus reality appear one last time towards the end of the play when Macbeth believes he is invincible and ends up ignoring one of the
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The motif of appearance versus reality was shown to appear after a murder, but as the play wears on it is possible to see that it also occurs before a murder. An ideal example of this can be seen when Macbeth decides to kill Banquo. Macbeth decides to hire professional murderers to carry out the deed of killing Banquo so that he would not have to get his hands dirty. The murderers, stricken by poverty, lead difficult lives and Macbeth uses this fact to manipulate the murderers into believing his lies. Macbeth blamed the murderers’ hardships on Banquo even though Banquo had nothing to do with it. “Both of you Know Banquo was your enemy.” (III.I.124-125). Using the ability to deceive others, Macbeth managed to trick the foolish murderers into believing Banquo was indeed their enemy. He later arranged for a feast to occur on the same day as the murder so that he could have his name cleared from any list of suspicions.
Finally, one can also see the concept of appearance vs. reality when the Weird Sisters foretell their prophecies. One of the three apparitions that the weird sisters made appear before Macbeth was a child holding a tree. This apparition told Macbeth that he “shall never vanquished be until Great Birnam Wood to high Dunsinane Hill Shall come against him”(4.1.105-107) By saying this, the apparition caused Macbeth to gain great confidence, because if taken literally, it then sounds impossible for Macbeth to die. How can a forest move? Well

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