In real life, we should not judge people solely on their appearances. There are many people who appear to be trustworthy but in reality, are not. Appearance versus reality is an important theme in William Shakespeare’s Macbeth. The theme focuses on characters who are deceived by what appears to be real, and on the tragic consequences that follow this error in judgment. These characters include, Duncan, who trusts Macbeth too much; Lady Macbeth, who tricks by the witches and herself; Macbeth trickes by other people in the play.
King Duncan trusts Macbeth too much. Macbeth appears as a super hero and faithful to King Duncan. He fights against the traitor Macdonwald, and he helps the king to solve a great problem that is won the war. Duncan trusts Macbeth very much because of Macbeth’s heroic efforts and he gives Macbeth a title Thane of Cawdor. Actually Macbeth is not that faithful to the king, he has the ambition to be the king when he hears the prophecies from the three witches. After Macbeth back to his castle, he plans to kill Duncan with Lady Macbeth, but Duncan doesn’t recognize this and goes to Macbeth’s castle to visit him. When he just gets in he says something very important:
Duncan says, ‘This castle hath a peasant seat; the air/ Nimbly and sweetly reconnends itself/ Unto our gentle senses.’; (Act I, Scene 6, Lines 1-3)
This quote shows that Duncan like Macbeth very much even he feels that Macbeth’s place is comfortable for him. Duncan never suspects the trustworthy of Macbeth and never does anything to guard himself. Macbeth kills Duncan easily. Therefore Duncan has deceived by Macbeth’s appearance.
Lady Macbeth tricks by the three witches. When Macbeth tells Lady Macbeth the prophecies from the three witches. Lady Macbeth thinks that it will be terrific for her to be a queen when Macbeth becomes the king. Lady Macbeth persuades Macbeth to kill king Duncan, and this action causes Macbeth to start his first crime. Lady Macbeth becomes sleeplessness, nervous and she kills herself. The witches’ appearance lets Lady Macbeth to her death ending. Lady Macbeth also tricks by the appearance of herself. In the beginning she thinks that she should persuade Macbeth to kill Duncan. When Lady Macbeth knows about the prophecies from the witches, She says:
‘Come, you spirits
That tend on mortal toughts! Unsex me here,
And fill me from the crown to the toe top-full
Of direst cuelty; make thick my blood,
Stop up the access and passage to remorse,
That no compunctious visitings of nation
Shake my fell purpose, nor keep peace between
Th’effect and it! Come to my woman’s breasts,
And take my milk for gall, you murdering ministers,
You wait on neture’s mischief! Come, thick night,
And pall thee in the dunnest smoke of hell,
That my keen knife see not the wound it makes,
Nor heaven peep through the balanket of the dark
To cry, ‘Hold, hold!”; (Act I, Scene 5, Line 37-53)
In this quote she is saying that she should give out her weak, does whatever man does and become evil. She thinks that she is manful and strong, but actually she is not, she become sleeplessness and nervous. Therefore Lady Macbeth tricks by the three witches and herself.
Macbeth has tricked by the appearances of other people. First Macbeth tricks by the appearance of the three witches. On their way back from the war against Macdonwald, they meet the three witches. The three witches greet Macbeth Thane of Glimis, as Thane of Cawdor, and as the future king of Scotland. The witches also tell them that Banquo’s next generation will become that king. When Macbeth meets Duncan, Duncan gives him the title Thane of Cawdor. The witches seem to appear to help Macbeth and tell him important prophecies. Macbeth begins to fall into the trap, because of the first prophecy he hears from the three witches has came true. After he goes back to his castle, he plans to kill Duncan with Lady Macbeth, and he kills Duncan. The witches second prophecy has also came true, Macbeth does not recognize that those witches are deceiving him. Macbeth does care about the third prophecies that Banquo’s next generation will be king very much, he worries that his kingdom will not stay long, and replace by Banquo’s son. Macbeth orders the Murders to kill Banquo and his son Fleance. Later in the play Macbeth meets the three witches, they tell him the three prophecies. One of the prophecies is be aware of Macduff. Since the witches’ prophecies have been helpful to Macbeth, he believes the witches, he kills Macduff’s innocence family. This action of killing Macduff’s family becomes his third major crime. Macbeth listens to the three withches who are appear to be helping him, and this judgment let him in to tragedy. People hate Macbeth because of his crimes, he becomes lonely, he becomes sleeplessness, and he dies, all these negative results are cause by his error in judgment to the witches. Macbeth also tricks by Lady Macbeth his wife. After Macbeth tells her the prophecies from the witches, Lady Macbeth persuades Macbeth to kill the king. Lady Macbeth appears like a good wife and tells Macbeth the true of what he should do. Lady Macbeth persuades Macbeth and says that he should be more manful:
‘That made you break this enterprise to me?
When you durst do it, then you were a man;
And, to be more than what you were, you would
Be so much more the man. Nor time nor place
Did then adhere, and yet you would make both:
They have made them selves, and that their fitness
Does unmake you. I have given suck, and know
How tender ’tis to love the babe that mils me:
I would, while it was smiling in my face,
Have pluck’d my nipple from his boneless gums,
And dash’d the brains out, had I so sworn as you
Have done to this.’; (Act I, Scene 7, lines 48-59)
In these lines Lady Macbeth shames Macbeth’s manhood by saying that everything is ready, they have the chance to kill the king, Macbeth should give out weakness like her and if Macbeth is a man he should kill the king. Lady Macbeth seems to telling him the right thing he should do and Macbeth listens to her, and does his major crime that is killing the king.
Therefore Macbeth judges people in their appearance and led him into a tragedy.
According to the examples of the three characters in the play Macbeth who are deceived by the appearances of other characters, therefore the theme Appearance versus Reality is an important theme in the play. This theme focus on characters having error in judgment with the appearances of other characters, and deceived by other. This error of judgment let them in to tragedies. This theme is also very important to us and other people in our daily life, and I have known some of my relatives and friends who had also tricked by other people. Base on my knowledge from the examples of characters in the play, we should never judge people by their appearances, and I believe that time can clearly show the reality of people.