What does the line "fair is foul, and foul is fair" mean in the play Macbeth?



3 Answers | Add Yours

toffee5's profile pic

Posted on (Answer #1)

there is often a contradiction between appearance and reality.in this context it may be referred to the foul weather and the fair outcome of the battle.

marciascoles's profile pic

Posted on (Answer #2)

It could be construed as whatever is "fair" could also be "foul" and whatever may be "foul" could also be "fair." Think of this in terms of an "eye for an eye." This statement could be seen as foreshadowing the events to come within the play.

mudkipzarecool's profile pic

Posted on (Answer #3)

Actually, the "fair and foul" line is designed as an oxymoron to portray and emphasise the confusion. Shakespeare gives it more meanings than one. 

Maybe the quote refers to the weather, but it could also be about the sacrifice and victory of the battle, haply both at the same time. 


We’ve answered 288,337 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question