Deception In Shakespeare's Mac Beth Essay

1158 words - 5 pages

'Your hand, your tongue: look like the innocent flower, but be the serpent under't.' (Shakespeare 1.5. 64-66) Throughout Shakespeare's Macbeth, things are not always as they seem. Deception in this play is always present, especially with the main characters - Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. Lady Macbeth is the most skilled at persuading others, especially her husband, into believe things that are not true. The above quote, spoken by Lady Macbeth to her husband, shows exactly how manipulative and deceiving she can be. She is telling Macbeth to look and act pure, but to be evil inside. Macbeth, evidently led by his wife, but also by his own ambitions, is likewise guilty of deception. He deceives his best friend Banquo, King Duncan, as well as his public. Lady Macbeth and Macbeth also try to use denial and rationalization to deceive themselves. This self-deception leads to grave circumstances for them both. Macbeth is forced into further and further lies, making life difficult and unbearable. Lady Macbeth is also caught in the depths of deception and eventually kills herself. Therefore, it is obvious that the main characters of Shakespeare's Macbeth are all negatively affected by the recurring theme of deception.Throughout the play, Lady Macbeth uses her ability to mislead others in many ways. First of all, she decides to use deception to push her husband's ambition to be king....Hie thee hither, that I may pour my spirits in thine ear, and chastise with the valour of my tongue all that impedes thee from the golden round...(1.5.25-28)Lady Macbeth believes that, to be successful in his ambitions, Macbeth must rise above his goodness and accept her evil ways. She knows that the process of making her husband believe what she wants may not be easy. Lady Macbeth has to be cunning, and she is up for the challenge. The thought of being in power - the King and Queen of Scotland - drives her and she cannot be stopped. Lady Macbeth often has to reinforce her immoral beliefs to her husband, giving him a boost.Was the hope drunk, wherein you dressed yourself? hath it slept since, and wakes it now, to look so green and pale at what it did so freely? From this time such I account thy love. Art thou afeard to be the same in thine own act and valour, as thou art desire? Wouldst thous have that which thou esteem'st the ornament of life, and live a coward in thine own esteem, letting 'I dare not' wait upon 'I would,' Like the poor cat I'the adage?'(1.7.35-42)Lady Macbeth implies that Macbeth is being cowardly by not going after what he wants. She preys upon her husband's pride to remind him of his ambitions. Once she has schooled her husband in the art of deception, she must help him uphold this image and the lies. This deceit always results in hazardous outcomes.Although Lady Macbeth is the most talented deceiver, Macbeth is also lead into committing his own deceptions. He begins to learn from his wife, and, in turn, proceeds to deceive many others. Deceiving his friends...

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