how does appearance and reality affect relationships in the play macbeth?explain in detail quoting examples from the text.

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Noelle Thompson eNotes educator| Certified Educator

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mahmood786 | Student

One definition of “appearance” is: “An outward aspect of somebody or something that creates a particular impression.” Almost contradictory is the definition of “reality”: “Actual being or existence, as opposed to an imaginary, idealized, or false nature.” A prominent theme in Shakespeare’s play Macbeth is the contrast between appearance and reality. This theme is interlaced through each act of the play.

The way people act on the outside and who they really are on the inside may be two totally different things.  Some may change because they feel they don't fit in. Others pretend to be something they truly aren't.  No matter which way you look at it, if you try to act like someone your not, the truth will always appear in the end.  That is exactly what happened in William Shakespeare's play, MacBeth.  Banquo, MacBeth, and Lady MacBeth each project an

image, but as time passes. The realities of their true personalities begin to emerge.

As an honorable man, Banqou tends to hold back his true feelings in

order not to offend others around him.  At one point in the play, Banqou and MacBeth find themselves in the presence of three weird sisters who make three absurd predictions.  MacBeth leans toward believing them while Banqou says, "And

oftentimes, to win us to do our harm, the instruments of darkness tells us truths, win us with honest trifles, to betray's in deepest consequence". (Act I,Scene 3)  A thoughtful yet skeptical Banquo speaks his words here very carefully to MacBeth in order to remain honorable.  He doesn't want to come right out and tell MacBeth to be cautious in his actions, so he tries to soften his words so that MacBeth might contemplate his future movements.  However, MacBeth does not take heed of Banquo's warnings. Because of the witch's predictions and his impatience, MacBeth kills in order to get what he expects is coming to him.

When Banquo takes time to contemplate what has been going on, he turns his thoughts to MacBeth.  He expresses his feelings about the situation in Act II, Scene 1.  Banqou feels that MacBeth might have something to do with the murders,but he never stands up for his thoughts or listens to his conscience until MacBeth comes to him one day.  When MacBeth asks to talk privately to Banquo,

Banquo states; " So I lose none in seeking to augment it, but still keep my bosom franchised and allegiances clear, I shall be counseled."  (Act III, Scene 1)  Banquo means that he will talk to MacBeth, just as long as MacBeth knows that he is loyal to the King.  This is the only time that Banquo sets his foot down against others to stand up for his morals.