Discuss the theme of appearance versus reality in Shakespeare's "Macbeth."

Discuss the theme of appearance versus reality in Shakespeare's "Macbeth."

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Appearance versus reality is a strong theme in Shakespeare's Macbeth, as the play involves a misty landscape, witches, a ghost, a goddess, mental illness, and self-deception. From the outset of the play, it is clear that something unusual is going on, since three witches are conversing.

Their conversation, which revolves mostly around a spell they plan to cast on a seaman, begins with the famous quote, "Fair is foul and foul is fair," which implies that not all will be as it seems. If the witches disappeared after this initial scene, the sense of unreality might fade, but they reappear regularly and are a major force in decision-making by Macbeth and, by proxy, Lady Macbeth.

The witches make predictions, and one of their initial prophecies comes true. Because they are accurate once, Macbeth believes them and uses their counsel from then on. If he cannot understand what they mean, as they often speak in riddles, he takes it on faith that the result will work in his favor, or he simply...

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