Nothing is what it seems in the play Macbeth. Give 5 examples of this and support it with quotes.  

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favoritethings eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The prophecies that the Weird Sisters deliver to Macbeth -- that he will become Thane of Cawdor and, at some point, king -- appear to be very good; however, they will eventually lead him down a murderous and violent path that ends with his own destruction.  As Banquo warns him, "oftentimes, to win us to our harm, / The instruments of darkness tell us truth, / Win us with honest trifles, to betray 's / In deepest consequence" (1.3.135-138).  He cautions Macbeth to be wary of those prophecies because they could be a trap designed to manipulate him.  However, to Macbeth, the news only seems good.

Duncan is betrayed by the traitor, the old Thane of Cawdor, and he laments that "There's no art / To find the mind's construction in the face" (1.4.13-14).  He wishes there were a way to look at someone and to know what he is really thinking.  Duncan says of Cawdor, "He was a gentleman on whom I built / An absolute trust" (1.4.15-16).  In other words, the thane appeared to be loyal and honorable, but he was really traitorous and deceptive.

After Macbeth returns home, and he and Lady Macbeth await the arrival of Duncan, she says to him, "Look like th' innocent flower / But be the serpent under 't" (1.5.76-77).  She means that Macbeth must appear to be the friendly and loyal servant to the king that he has always been, but he needs to harbor his murderous thoughts in secret, hiding them under the false goodness of his exterior.

Then, when Duncan does arrive, he says, "This castle hath a pleasant seat.  The air / Nimbly and sweetly recommends itself / Unto our gentle senses" (1.6.1-3).  He compliments the Macbeths' home, saying that it looks like such a lovely and welcoming place; however, he does not realize that the owners are plotting his murder, a crime which will occur in this very place.  It looks welcoming, but it is not.

In this same scene, Duncan calls Lady Macbeth his "fair and noble hostess' (1.6.30).  She, like her home, seems welcoming and sincere and open, but she is actually deceptive and murderous and selfish.

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