Theme Of Masks In Macbeth

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Shakespeare conveys the meaning of someone being two-faced by making some of his characters hide behind a mask. In The Tragedy of Macbeth, there are many scenes where one or more characters hide their feelings, thoughts, or desires from other characters in the play by using a guise. The theme of betrayal ties into the masks; so, it is no surprise that the majority of characters that use masks in this play use them to conceal malicious thoughts. The characters that use masks in Macbeth are Lady Macbeth, Macbeth, the witches, Banquo, and Malcolm.
Lady Macbeth is the instigator for numerous malevolent plots. She is the one that planned and coerced her husband to murder Duncan for the crown. Everything about Lady Macbeth, from the beginning to
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Although, he has many other instances throughout the play that shows his hidden betrayal and lies. The first time he has worn a mask is when Macbeth is contemplating murdering Duncan. When Banquo, Ross, and Angus are talking about the good news that Macbeth is named Thane of Cawdor, Macbeth has an aside where he talks about how unnerving the thought of murdering Duncan is. However, Macbeth thanks the men in the friendliest of ways, and he acts joyful to the men by saying, “Kind gentlemen, your pains/ Are registered where every day I turn/ The leaf to read them” (I. iii. 150-152). The second time Macbeth hides his betrayal is at the party, as stated above. In Act II, Banquo tells Macbeth about his dream about the witches; to which Macbeth replies, “I think not of them” (II. i. 22). At the coronation feast, Macbeth hides his plan of murdering Banquo and Fleance from all the guests and even his wife. However, his hallucination of the ghost of Banquo hints at his sinful deed to the guests. These constant acts of lying have also been taking a toll on Macbeth. As the play continues on, he is driven into insanity until his …show more content…
The witches are working for the dark side, and Banquo even warns Macbeth that these creatures are not to be trusted, “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” (I. iii. 122-126). The witches speak in double- talk to deceive people, and they are shown to be untrustworthy. When the witches greet Macbeth in Act I, they hail him as Thane of Glamis, Thane of Cawdor, and King hereafter. However, when Macbeth asks them to explain further, they vanish. When Macbeth returns to the witches to ask for advice on the future, the witches conjure up apparitions that will boost up a false confidence, which will lead to his demise. The apparitions symbol people that will bring Macbeth down, but the apparitions speak in vague terms that Macbeth uses as a sign of victory for him. The first apparition tells Macbeth to beware Macduff. Although, the second apparition tells him that no man born of woman will hurt him. Macbeth thinks that he is invincible since every man is born of woman. The third apparition says he will only be defeated when Great Birnam Wood rises to Dunsinane Hill. Macbeth takes this message as impossible to happen because trees cannot uproot and walk. However when Macbeth realizes that the witches were wearing a mask all along, it is too late, and he meets his end with Macduff’s

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