Essay on The Truth Will Set You Free

1193 Words Mar 10th, 2016 5 Pages
“The truth will set you free-- but first it will make you miserable.” Misattributed speakers of this quote range from Mark Twain to James A. Garfield. Although their history remains hazy, the words clearly ring true for all aspects of life, spanning eons of time-- even as far back as Shakespearean-era England. British literature is rich and diverse, but the idea of truth weaves its way into numerous novels, plays, and essays. In Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and Shakespeare’s Macbeth, the truth harms characters once they accept it as fact.
The title of Shakespeare’s play may read Macbeth, but the tyrannical king is not the only character affected by the weird sisters’ predictions. Banquo hears of Macbeth’s royal future, but the witches mention that Banquo’s descendants will be kings, both men doubting the women until their statements become true. Banquo hesitantly believes the witches, which he later admits to Macbeth, “I dreamt last night of the three weird sisters; To you they have showed some truth” (Shakespeare II.i.20-21). By accepting and admitting that the chants reveal “some truth”, Banquo presents himself as a roadblock on Macbeth’s path to the throne, as he admits his children will sit upon the throne, ousting Macbeth. Once a loyal, dutiful friend, Macbeth’s killer tendencies train themselves upon Banquo’s life once Banquo accepts the truth. By believing the witches, Banquo allows the truth to take his life, as Macbeth would not have seen his friend turn into an…

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