Describe three instances of the discrepencies between appearance and reality in Macbeth.  The discrepancy between appearance and reality is a motif that threads its way throughout the first act...

Describe three instances of the discrepencies between appearance and reality in Macbeth. 

The discrepancy between appearance and reality is a motif that threads its way throughout the first act of Macbeth. Briefly describe three examples of this motif of deception in this part of the play. Include quotations in your response.

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luannw | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

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As quickly as Act 1, sc. 1, the motif of "appearances v. reality" is made evident with the witches' line: "Fair is foul, and foul is fair,".  This says that what looks good is not good and what looks bad is not necessarily bad.  Then, in the next scene after Duncan is told of the traitorous actions of the Thane of Cawdor, Duncan says, "No more that thane of Cawdor shall deceive / Our bosom interest...".  This says that the thane had appeared to be loyal, but in reality was a traitor.  In the third scene of Act 1, after the witches declare their prophecies and after Macbeth has learned that, indeed, he has become the thane of Cawdor, Banquo warns him in ll. 122-130, that sometimes the "instruments of darkness" give little bits of truth in order to deceive and lead people astray.  There is that deceitful appearances idea again.  There are many more examples of this motif throughout the first act.

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