This is significant in revealing character in Macbeth. It could be argued that Lady Macbeth calling on the “dunnest smoke of hell” to fill her with evil suggests that she incapable of such brutality, and needs the supernatural to assist her. Thus, Lady Macbeth is not wholly corrupted as it is the darkness of the night that gives her the ability to be a bearer of such evil. On the other hand, it may also be argued that this in fact enhances Lady Macbeth’s inner dark side. The idea that she consciously recognises the need for “murdering ministers” to provide her with the support to assist Macbeth in regicide certainly falls in favour of arguing that she willingly has the desire for help from the darker realms, making her more evil for actually wanting to be tainted by the poisonous associations of “darkness” in the play.
Banquo also uses the metaphor of darkness to describe the witches as well when he refers to them as “instruments of darkness” (I. iii. 126). Shakespeare is using darkness as a noun and saying that the witches are used by the darkness to persuade his characters to change to the dark side. This is a foreshadowing to what happens throughout the play. The witches are able to bring characters that would normally
Throughout Scene 1-4 Macbeth is portrayed as a heroic and valiant man, however with sly and manipulative characteristics brought out by the Witches. The use of structure and language allows Shakespeare to present both Macbeths flaws and weaknesses to the audience. Structurally scene 1 opens with the witches gathered together reciting plans about meeting Macbeth, establishing an occult malevolence which permeates the play. The choice of starting with the witches instantly creates a mood of terror and unearthly evil, setting an unnatural and deceptive atmosphere. The third witch says, ‘There to meet Macbeth’, this intertwining of Macbeth reflects the relationship which will be made between him and the witches, and the evil which is going to be involved in Macbeth’s life.
The unifying function of the paradox is sustained by Shakespeare on different levels in the play, through techniques such as juxtaposition and irony. At first reading, the witches seem to insinuate that what appears good is evil and what appears evil can be good, implying that noble values of goodness and beauty are reversed in the confused atmosphere (“fog and filthy air”). The really frightening word is “is”. According to the three witches what is fair – good, beautiful, right – is foul – ugly, shameful, wicked. The two things are identical.
Shortly after, Banquo warns Macbeth of danger, explaining that the witches may not be trustworthy: And oftentimes, to win us to our harm, The instruments of darkness tell us truths, Win us with honest trifles, to betray's In deepest consequence. By the end of Act I, Banquo still relates to Macbeth as his friend. Banquo has noticed a strangeness in Macbeth's behavior, but assumes it is merely a reaction to the new honor (Thane of Cawdor) he has suddenly received. Macbeth and Banquo maintain their friendship into Act II, when Banquo mentions the witches. Macbeth lies, saying he never thinks of them, but tells Banquo that he would like to discuss them further.
Banquo, Macbeth’s character foil, is one great character. He can even be regarded as Macbeth’s doppelgänger. When the three witches give him his prophecy he remains skeptic and he keeps bringing up the witches when he talks to Macbeth. Compared to Macbeth, Banquo possess way more honor and nobility. He looks for help in
Choices affect life style. What is the purpose of Macbeth? In both Macbeth and Great Expectations, we are presented with a character whose choices shape the plot and direction of the story. In Macbeth, it can be argued that Shakespeare uses Macbeth’s choices in order to deliver a moral lesson – that crime does not pay. It can be suggested that Shakespeare presents this character in a negative light throughout the play in order to have the audience view his choices and actions negatively too.
Evil is first inferred in Macbeth when we first meet the Weyward Sisters (witches) and they cantillate something: ‘Fair is foul and foul is fair.’ This juxtaposition of words indicates an unnatural feel which creates the feel of imminent evil from a possibly supernatural perpetrator. This line is later reprised by Macbeth in Act 1 Scene 3 when he declares ‘so foul and fair a day I have not seen.’ This could insinuate that Macbeth and the witches may be having similar thoughts without even meeting yet. Alternatively, one could infer that the witches may have already infected Macbeth’s mind with their sinister way of thinking which could give reason as why such a noble man commits regicide. AC Bradley provides a divergent theory on the Weyward Sisters. He says: ‘They are old women, poor and ragged, skinny and hideous, full of vulgar spite, occupied in killing their neighbours' swine or revenging themselves on sailors' wives who have refused them chestnuts.’ In light of this comment, the sisters can be perceived as mad women that exclaim fallacies of success and wealth to warriors and those of weak mind, such as Macbeth, will commit to said fallacies and this will inaugurate their demise.
“Shakespeare’s Macbeth warns of the dangers of trusting appearances.” Duplicity and deception is a theme clearly punctuated in William Shakespeare’s tragedy ‘Macbeth’; the idea that appearances may not always be a reliant indicator of what they hide is encapsulated in the first scene of the play in the line “Fair is foul, and foul is fair.” This paradoxical statement, spoken by the calculating three witches, proves to be a fundamentally important aspect of the play – one that is ultimately a warning, a reminder by the playwright to the audience that trusting appearances can have fatally dangerous consequences. The first example the audience sees of someone who suffers dire ramifications as a result of being too trusting and naïve is Duncan, the king of Scotland at the onset of the play. He himself admits that he erred when he “built an absolute trust” on the Thane of Cawdor, a “disloyal traitor” who betrayed the king. Duncan concludes that “There’s no art/To find the mind’s construction in the face”, stating that he believes a man’s inner motives cannot be beheld simply as a result of observing his face. The truthfulness and relevance of this statement is shown repeatedly throughout the play; even in the same scene Macbeth murmurs aside to himself “Stars, hide your fires,/Let not light see my black and deep desires”, henceforth alerting the audience that Macbeth has dark motives, later referred to by himself as “Vaulting ambition” Shakespeare elicits uncomfortableness in the audience by juxtaposing evidence of Duncan’s gullibility with proof of Macbeth’s dark inner motives, and this uncomfortableness proves not to be unwarranted; Duncan is the victim of a regicide committed by Macbeth, a man he once referred to as a “Valiant cousin, worthy gentleman.” When the king had arrived at Macbeth’s castle, he had been his typical cheerful self, stating, “This castle hath
He reasons that the witches are evil and not to be trusted “Banquo: That, trusted home,/ Might yet enkindle you unto the crown,/ Besides the Thane of Cawdor. But ‘tis strange:/ And oftentimes, to win us to our harm,/ The instruments of darkness tell us truths,/ Win us with honest trifles, to betray’s/ in deepest consequence” (1.3.129-136) Unlike Macbeth, Banquo is more cautious upon hearing the witches’ prophecies. Although he is an ambitious man himself, he recognizes that they are “instruments of darkness”. Banquo associates the witches with darkness because of their ability to earn Macbeth’s trust by telling him a truth, which he will become the Thane of Cawdor, then feeding into his ruthless ego by prophesying that we will become king. After he hears that he will become king he feels the need to make it come true, even if it means killing Duncan.