Deception In Macbeth

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eabettencourt's profile pic

eabettencourt | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Assistant Educator

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The major theme of the play is appearance vs. reality, which involves quite a lot of deception.  Lady Macbeth gives her husband the advice to look like an innocent flower, but be a serpent underneath.  Macbeth himself appears to be a loyal thane, but we all know that does not end up being the case!  All of Scotland was initially deceived by this.  Macbeth is deceived by the witches in the end, when they trick him into believing he is "above death."  These are just some examples; the play is full of them!

fieryangel's profile pic

fieryangel | Student, Grade 9 | (Level 1) Honors

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"Deception" is one of the themes Shakespeare has portrayed in Macbeth.

Macbeth was supposed to be a loyal subject to the king. However, he betrayed this loyalty by murdering him. Macbeth himself said, initially, "as his host, who should against his murder shut the door, not bear the knife myself". However, he deceived his ruler and assassinated him.

Macbeth also deceived his best friend Banquo. Macbeth was so possessive about his kingship that he even betrayed his best friend by killing him. He would not let friendship stand in the way of his throne. To protect his crown, he betrayed his friend.

When he meets the witches for a second time, they trick Macbeth by showing him prophecies which he deciphers in another way. He thought it was impossible for a man to be produced in any other way but from a woman. He thought is was not possible for a forest to move on its own. The witches presented to him the prophecies in a way such that he could be tricked, probably to teach him a lesson to not be blinded by ambition. The witches taught deceived Macbeth.