Essay, Research Paper: Macbeth Appearances

Shakespeare: Macbeth

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Shakespeare's Macbeth involves betrayal, frauds, and false appearances between
the characters. Nothing is what is seems to be. The characters' ambitions grow
and evil controls their fate. As the story develops, the realities of the
situations become pure illusions. Everything starts to become an illusion after
Macbeth meets the three witches. Repeatedly, he begins to ponder on the idea of
becoming king. Knowing that this could be true, he and Lady Macbeth plan a
scheme to get rid of Duncan (the present king). At the banquet, Lady Macbeth
appears to appreciate Duncan by complementing him with meaningless phrases.
"All our service, In every point twice done and then done double,"1
This does not mean anything to Lady Macbeth. Her words are very different than
those from her thoughts. She was the one who in the first place persuaded
Macbeth in killing Duncan. After Duncan is killed, Lady Macbeth acts as if the
news shocked her, "Help me hence, ho!"2 In scene vii of Act 1, the
audience listens to Macbeth talking to himself. In this soliloquy he has doubts
in killing Duncan, he believes Duncan has been a good king and that it is safer
for him not to get into any danger. Lady Macbeth convinces him to do what was
planned by threatening his manhood. Macbeth talks with Banquo, who had dreamt
about the witches prophecies. After Macbeth is left alone, he sees a dagger. In
this other soliloquy we can now see what is going through his mind. The audience
now realizes that Macbeth is determined to become king while he describes how he
will "Moves like a ghost...Hear not my steps, which (way they) walk, for
fear"3 After he hears the bell the audience definitely knows that Duncan
will be killed. "I go, and it is done. The bell invites me."4 When the
news of Duncan's death reaches Macbeth, the audience can tell that he is
different from the rest of the people. Everyone is shocked by the death and
talks direct and spontaneously, while Macbeth speaks poetically. "Who can
be wise, amazed, temp'rate, and furious, Loyal, and neutral, in a moment? No
man."5 This way Shakespeare informs the audience that Macbeth had already
practiced what he was going to say. Macbeth and Lady Macbeth create many
illusions in the story, but they are not the only characters who do this. Banquo
begins to suspect that Macbeth killed Duncan so that he could become king, but
does not say anything directly at him. Macbeth senses this and his ambition
grows. He does not want Banquo's sons to become king the day he dies. As a
friendly gesture, he invites him to a feast, which in reality is a plan to kill
him. As well as Banquo, Lennox is suspicious of Macbeth. He does not say
anything to Macbeth and acts as if everything is normal. He acts as if Macbeth
is a good king, when in reality he is waiting for Macduff to return with help
from England to overthrow Macbeth from the throne. The notion of fate is clearly
portrayed in the story. Fate is introduced by the witches. At the beginning of
the play they plan to meet with Macbeth and they say "Fair is foul, and
foul is fair, Hover through the fog and filthy air."6 This line shows
foreshadowing; it makes the audience know that something unfair and evil will
occur. When they meet Macbeth, they greet him first as Thane of Glamis, then as
Thane of Cawdor and then as king. The moment Macbeth hears this, he is confused
but curious why these witches had called him king. After he knows that he became
Thane of Cawdor he believes that sooner or later he will be king. The three
witches suggested his destiny. Macbeth's goal was not to become king until the
witches made him believe it was his destiny. In the play, destiny was paved out
by the witches. Destiny is not something that cannot be changed. A person has
control of his/her destiny. Macbeth's destiny was suggested by the witches, he
listened to their suggestions and followed them. Macbeth is not controlled by
fate; instead he is the one who decided to listen and wants to meet the witches
again. He thought about becoming king, but was not totally sure of it. This
decision was encouraged by his wife, who controlled him in the decisions he made
so that these could benefit her. Macbeth controlled his life when he does not
want to kill his king. After he talks to Banquo the day he was supposed to kill
the king, destiny enters in his life. Macbeth sees a dagger and imagines that it
is a sign for him to kill Duncan. "Is this a dagger which I see before me,
The handle toward my hand? As this which now I draw...And such instrument I was
to use."7 Macbeth feels as if the dagger was placed as well as its handle
toward him because it was meant for him to become king. If the witches had not
met Macbeth, he would not have become king. His ambition grew more after they
told him he would become king of Scotland. The witches seem to have been
planning on meeting him because they knew he was going to the impossible in
order to become king. If they had never met him, he would remain being Thane of
Cawdor. Macbeth would have continued to be loyal and would have not betrayed
God, the king, Scotland and himself. Macbeth would not have acted paranoid and
see his life as an empty meaningless charade. Macbeth is filled with different
issues that were of great interest during Shakespearean times. Turning your back
towards the king must have been a shock to the audience as well as the death of
him. Fate was another thing that captured the audience's attention because it is
a supernatural force that can not always be controlled. These two subjects were
the most appealing and most obvious throughout the story.
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