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betrayal in macbeth

vic craparotta

on 18 December 2012

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Transcript of Macbeth-betrayal

Betrayal Macbeth The first example of betrayal occurs when the Thane of Cawdor “that most disloyal traitor” (1:2:52) of Scotland betrays Scotland and fights on the side of Norway. It is ironic when he is captured and executed his title is given to Macbeth. This also foreshadows future events when Macbeth himself will turn against his King, Duncan, who had put an “absolute trust ” (1:4:15)in Macbeth Macbeth, when told by the witches that he will be “King hereafter” (1:3:51), plans to murder Duncan his loyal King and friend. Thus, Macbeth not only betrays his King which is an unnatural act but he also betrays Scotland, causing a disorder (betrayal) in nature. Macbeth and Lady Macbeth betray Duncan who comes to their house as their King and honoured guest only to be betrayed and murdered by them his hosts. After Macbeth murders Banquo he begins to go on a rampage of killings and no longer confides in his wife. You can say, as a husband, he has betrayed Lady Macbeth by excluding her from his plans in which he had previously included her. Even the witches who first give Macbeth “fair” prophecies trick him (betray) him by results that are later “foul”. When the witches tell Macbeth of his future, they also tell Banquo that his descendants will be Kings. Banquo who is Macbeth’s friend and co-commander of the army will be betrayed and murdered by Macbeth because he fears that Banquo is a threat and knows exactly what the witches said. Therefore Macbeth decides he must be killed along with his innocent son. In a sense Macduff betrays his own family when he flees to Scotland to join an army that will later defeat Macbeth. In doing so he leaves his family vulnerable to attack. Throughout the play Macbeth the general mood is one of deceit and betrayal, and is found in the words “Fair is foul, and foul is fair!” (Act 1: Scene 1: Line 12) What is meant by this is that there are good (fair) things in play which turn out bad (foul / betrayal) For example, they tell him that he shall not be defeated till Birnam Wood come to Dunsinane (castle). Later when the end is near Macbeth sees the forest moving towards his castle.

Moreover, the witches tell him that “no man of woman born shall harm him” (4:1:81). Again, they betray him when Macduff who was “untimely ripped from his mother’s womb” (5:8:15) kills him. This caused him to believe he was invincible affecting his judgment on whether to fight or run. Macbeth also betrays his own nature and goes against his own conscience when he not only kills the King but also kills Macduff’s family and Banquo. The army that Macbeth led turns against him, people Macbeth fought beside and helped led them to victory abandon him by leaving the country and planning on how to defeat him. In the play Macbeth, Shakespeare uses the theme of betrayal to expand upon the line of “fair is foul, and foul is fair”. This is seen throughout the play when characters do something “foul” to gain something “good”. It creates deceit and betrayal throughout the play as characters go against each other to get what they want. Work Cited Nuttal, Carol. "Teachers Resource Pack for Macbeth." S-eltmedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Dec. 2012.

SparkNotes Editors. “SparkNote on Macbeth.” SparkNotes.com. SparkNotes LLC. 2002. Web. 13 Dec. 2012.

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