A central theme of the play is the reversal of moral order. How does the final couplet of Act one and scene one reflect this theme
purpose of scene
THere are two questions.
A central theme of the play is the reversal of moral order. How does the final couplet of Act one and scene one reflect this them
And what is the purpose of act one and scene one.
Fair is foul, and foul is fair.
Hover through the fog and filthy air.
The purpose of these lines, spoken by the witches in unison, is to tell the audience that what seems good is not, and what seems bad is not so either. These lines introduce one of the main themes of the play –deception and the reversal of the expected moral order. Macbeth is deceived by the witches into believing that it is his place to be king
‘Thou that shall be king hereafter’
This prophecy goes against what was believed to be the natural order of kingship as chosen by God. It is noted that in the day of King Duncan’s death the sun does not appear to rise. It was believed at the time that if the Divine Right of Kings was disrupted, there would be consequences of great magnitude. It is therefore unsurprising that Macbeth’s accession to the throne causes civil unrest and the deaths of many.
Macbeth is also deceived into believing he is invincible and that
‘none of woman born can harm Macbeth’
The witches prophesies are revealed to be true, but with costs, caveats and consequences. In seeking their support, Macbeth has gone against the Christian faith and brings about his downfall.
The purpose of Act 1 Scene 1 is to connect Macbeth, out protagonist, with evil and foreboding from the start of the play. He does not appear in the scene, but the witches talk of their meeting with him which is to come. We can deduce from this that the path Macbeth embarks on is already laid out for him by these dark forces: he has no real control over the events which affect him, and the witches are confident that the choices he will make will draw him in to their evil plot.