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In Macbeth,how does Macbeth become deceitful and dishonest?

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jules-1 | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted April 2, 2013 at 11:33 AM via web

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In Macbeth,how does Macbeth become deceitful and dishonest?

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durbanville | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted April 2, 2013 at 12:45 PM (Answer #1)

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The scene is set in Macbeth right from the beginning as the witches (weird sisters) feature first in the play and foreshadow what follows as "fair is foul and foul is fair (I.i). Macbeth himself seals this theme as his first entrance is accompanied by "so foul and fair a day"(I.iii). All is never what it seems - "nothing is / But what it is not" (I.iii).

The dishonesty and deceitfulness of Macbeth may be circumstantial or a result of his "vaulting ambition" and Lady Macbeth's need to realise the "greatness...promis'd" but it becomes apparent very early on as he slips between his feelings of guilt and desire to be (and more importantly, to remain) king.

Macbeth lies to Banquo about the effect of the witches as he claims to "think not of them." (II.i) Shortly thereafter he is haunted by the dagger as it "floats" by him. When Macbeth continues with his killing spree, without any input from Lady Macbeth, he is aware that he has taken matters into his own hands. The further the plot develops, the more Macbeth alienates himself from Lady Macbeth who was his "Dearest Partner of Greatnesse." He tries to deceive her because he believes that he is becoming invincible - with the witches help. Lady Macbeth

is no match for the witches who have assumed the function that she once performed.

It seems therefore that Macbeth has always had the capacity to be deceitful and dishonest and it is simply a sequence of events that culminate (combine together) with his weak personality, allowing him to be unduly influenced, to set him on his "murderous" path. Macbeth's ambition - his fatal flaw - and his belief that the end justifies the means seal his fate.

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jules-1 | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted April 3, 2013 at 5:39 AM (Answer #2)

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The scene is set in Macbeth right from the beginning as the witches (weird sisters) feature first in the play and foreshadow what follows as "fair is foul and foul is fair (I.i). Macbeth himself seals this theme as his first entrance is accompanied by "so foul and fair a day"(I.iii). All is never what it seems - "nothing is / But what it is not" (I.iii).

The dishonesty and deceitfulness of Macbeth may be circumstantial or a result of his "vaulting ambition" and Lady Macbeth's need to realise the "greatness...promis'd" but it becomes apparent very early on as he slips between his feelings of guilt and desire to be (and more importantly, to remain) king.

Macbeth lies to Banquo about the effect of the witches as he claims to "think not of them." (II.i) Shortly thereafter he is haunted by the dagger as it "floats" by him. When Macbeth continues with his killing spree, without any input from Lady Macbeth, he is aware that he has taken matters into his own hands. The further the plot develops, the more Macbeth alienates himself from Lady Macbeth who was his "Dearest Partner of Greatnesse." He tries to deceive her because he believes that he is becoming invincible - with the witches help. Lady Macbeth

is no match for the witches who have assumed the function that she once performed.

 

It seems therefore that Macbeth has always had the capacity to be deceitful and dishonest and it is a sequence of events that culminate (combine together) and his weak personality allowing him to be unduly influenced that set him on his "murderous" path. Macbeth's  ambition, - his fatal flaw - and his belief that the end justifies the means seal his fate.

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