Appearance Vs Reality In Mabeth Essay

1072 words - 5 pages

The theme of appearance vs. reality says that things are not always as they seem; what you believe to be one way can in reality be the complete opposite. This is an important theme in Shakespeare’s play Macbeth. This essay will firstly argue that Shakespeare uses the three witches or weird sisters to convey the theme of appearance vs. reality. Secondly it will argue that Shakespeare uses characters personalities specifically Macbeth and Lady Macbeth to convey the theme of appearance vs. reality. And finally this essay will argue that stage directions and dramatic techniques have been used to imply hallucinations to play with the audience’s idea of what is real and what is simply appearance. ...view middle of the document...

The theme appearance vs. reality is evident in this line as Macbeth explains that he can see the witches(appearance)but when they suddenly vanish he is left wondering if they were ever really there(reality). Another example of questioning if the witches are real in Macbeth is Banquo’s line, ‘Were such things here as we do speak about? Or have we eaten the insane root...’ The use of a question demonstrates Banquo’s uncertainty and disbelief in the reality of the witches. He suggests that he and Macbeth have taken drugs because what they just saw (the witches) could not have been real. The theme of appearance vs. reality is conveyed in Macbeth through witches and constant questioning of their reality.
Secondly, the theme of appearance vs. reality is conveyed through character personalities specifically that of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. In Macbeth , Shakespeare has created characters that overtime reveal their true identities. At the beginning of the play we believe that we know the character but these are in fact false appearances, and their true personality is the complete opposite. This is shown clearly through the character Macbeth. In the beginning we see Macbeth as a ‘valiant cousin’ and a ‘worthy gentleman’. He tries to resist lady Macbeth’s plan to murder Duncan and feels extremely guilty after he commits the murder, ‘sleep no more, Macbeth does murder sleep’. However as the play progresses we begin to see Macbeth differently, he becomes a tyrant, forgetting about his guilt and only striving for more power. This shows the theme of appearance vs. reality as Macbeth appears to be noble and trust worthy but in reality was not. Lady Macbeth is another example of false appearances of character. In the beginning Lady Macbeth is manipulative and ruthless. This is evident when she says ‘I would, while it was smiling in my face, plucked my nipple from his boneless gums/And dashed the brains out’ . Explaining that she would kill her own baby to get what she wanted. Shakespeare has used violent imagery to emphasis her brutality. However later it is revealed that she does have a conscience and she becomes overcome with guilt because of her...

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