Illusion versus reality is a major reoccurring theme in Macbeth. The allusions Shakespeare uses give the play a supernatural and mysterious feel. Shakespeare’s brilliance is truly displayed throughout the play “Macbeth”, when illusions are used to entice the reality of the play. This theme is a big part of the play because illusion really determined the future of each character like the dagger appearing before Macbeth killed King Duncan, The witches prophesies and Lady Macbeth’s insomnia. The illusions versus reality theme also created new paths for the storyline to go through which ultimately led to the demise of many of the major characters, and attracted the audience to the supernatural air of “Macbeth”.
The witches gave the play the most sense of an enigmatic feel through their direct uses of illusions to portray to Macbeth what was to come. They produced four mirages for Macbeth which warned him of the dangers that were surrounding him and when his kingship would be tested. They first produced an armed head which warned him of Macduff’s intentions. They next showed him a bloody child which spoke to him stating that no man born from a woman will harm Macbeth. Thirdly, they created a child crowned with a tree in its hand that ensured him his defeat was not to come until Birnamingham Wood marched to fight him at Dunsinane Hill. Their final apparition for Macbeth was showing him a long line of the Crown’s predecessors all in Banquo’s lineage.
“All hail, Macbeth, that shalt be king hereafter!” (Macbeth I. iii. 50)
This is the very first prophecy that the witches lay on Macbeth, starting this whole massacre that proceeds. They state that he will become King, which goes on to him writing a letter to his wife, and setting in motion the ambitious crooked deeds that have happened. If the witches’ first...