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Elucidation Regarding The Stages Set By, “Fair Is Foul, And Foul Is Fair” (I: I, 10), In William Shakespeare’s The Tragedy Of Macbeth

1236 words - 5 pages

Shakespeare utilizes many paradoxes in The Tragedy of Macbeth to provide entertainment for the audience. The people during the Renaissance loved paradoxes because of their unique structure. In the exposition, the paradoxes the witches present, “Fair is foul, and foul is fair” (I: i, 10), sets the stages of the tragedy because it holds various significant meaning. Literally, the quotation transcends to good is bad, and bad is good; however, it actually implies that one cannot assume anything. The paradox displays the style and diction that Shakespeare continues to utilize throughout the tragedy. His style and diction supports the paradox as it creates confusion that causes the audience to recall that nothing can be assumed. In addition, it allows one to expect other paradoxes along with imagery that further supports the paradox, “Fair is foul, and foul is fair” (I: i, 10).
The style Shakespeare utilizes creates obscurity of the lot at first; however, as the tragedy progresses, the truths unravel. He purposely utilizes this style because it relates in with the paradox, “Fair is foul, and foul is fair” (I, i, 10). Shakespeare introduces Macbeth as a noble, loyal character that is a potential analog to a hero because of his glorified action against Macdonwald. Shakespeare elucidates Macbeth’s glorified action by stating, “He unseamed him from the nave to th’ chops” (I: ii, 22), which shows Macdonwald is tied to the land because his body is not in one piece; therefore, he cannot go to heaven. This causes one to assume that Macbeth is a hero; however, as the tragedy continues, Macbeth turns out to be an analog of the devil. His ambition for power causes him to lose sight of himself and betrays his king along with his country. The actions Macbeth performs display his devilish character. By personifying “sleep” (II: ii, 35), Shakespeare indicates that Macbeth has committed a horrible crime worth to be classify as the devil. In addition, Macbeth “could not say Amen” (II: ii, 28), which further elucidates that he is no longer on God’s side. The conflicting events cause one to be in confusion and provoke one to discover the truth.
Shakespeare’s diction helps emphasizes his statements to support the paradox by creating more than one potential meaning. He utilizes similar words to carry out the same message, but holds different meaning. The paradox the witches present, “Fair is foul, and foul is fair” (I: i, 10), is an example of Shakespeare’s diction. He uses “fair” instead of good, which delivers the same message, however holds different meaning. Fair is more about equality and justice while good is beneficial or satisfactory. Furthermore, Shakespeare utilizes “foul” instead of bad in the same paradox. Foul is immoral while bad is hard or unbeneficial to one. His diction he uses in this paradox foreshadows and sets the stages for the tragedy. By interpreting his diction, one can now comprehend Shakespeare’s intention of utilizing the words he...

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