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Appearance vs. reality means that things are not what they seem. A perfect example of this is King Duncan’s approach to Macbeth’s castle. He has no reason to suspect Macbeth. In fact, he thinks that Macbeth will be in a great mood because he just gave him a promotion. When he arrives at the castle, he comments on what a nice place it is.
This castle hath a pleasant seat; the air
Nimbly and sweetly recommends itself
Unto our gentle senses. (Act 1, Scene 6)
This comment is dripping with dramatic irony (when the audience knows something the characters don't). Duncan has no idea what is about to happen to him, but the audience knows that Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are not happy that Duncan named his son his successor and not Macbeth. They are planning to kill him, and he is commenting on what a nice place the caste is!
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