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DECEPTION IN MACBETH
Transcript of DECEPTION IN MACBETH
From the beginning of the play, the witches seek to deceive and confuse Macbeth.
Malcolm is deceptive when he tests Macduff in Act 4.
THE ART OF DECEPTION
: "something that deceives or is intended to deceive; fraud; artifice".
"The very idea of telling the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth is dredged up only as a final resort when the alternative options of
, threat and bribery have all been exhausted". -Michael Musto
WHAT IS DECEPTION?
FROM THE START...
exists in Shakespeare's "Macbeth" from the beginning, with the betrayal of the
Thane of Cawdor.
: "There's no art/ To find the mind's construction in the face:/ He was a gentleman on whom I built/ An absolute trust" (1.4.11-14).
... AND IT CONTINUES
MACBETH AND LADY MACBETH
Throughout the play, Macbeth proves to be very deceitful. Two main examples are:
THE MURDER OF DUNCAN
: "He is full so valiant,/ And in his commendations I am fed;/ It is a banquet to me. Let's after him,/ Whose care is gone before, to bid us welcome:/ It is a peerless kinsman" (1.4.54-58).
: "Those of his chamber, as it seem'd, had done't" (2.3.101).
: "O, yet I do repent me of my fury,/ That I did kill them" (2.3.107-108).
Macbeth is not "peerless" as Duncan makes him out to be.
He was not being kind to Duncan, but planning to murder him.
Lennox is wrong, the guards did not kill Duncan.
Macbeth did not kill the guards out of sadness and fury, but to cover up.
Though Macbeth is very deceptive, one may argue that his wife is a great contributing factor to his deceit.
: "Bear welcome in your eye,/ Your hand, your tongue: look like the innocent flower,/ But be the serpent under't" (1.6.64-66).
: "Only look up clear; To alter favour ever is to fear" (1.6.72).
It is clear that Lady Macbeth is deliberately directing her husband to deceive.
"Magic sleights,/ Shall raise such artificial sprites,/As by the strength of their illusion/ Shall draw him on to his confusion" (3.6.26-29).
"Security/ Is mortals' chiefest enemy" (3.6.32-33).
In Act 4, the three apparitions shown by the witches to Macbeth and successful in deceiving him.
: "None of woman born/ Shall harm Macbeth" (4.1.80-81).
: "Macduff was from his mother's womb/ Untimely ripp'd" (5.8.15-16).
: "Black Macbeth/ Will seem as pure as snow,/...being compar'd/ With my confineless harms" (4.3.52-54).
: "Unspeak mine own detraction; here abjure/ The taints and blames I laid upon myself" (4.3.123-124).
SHAKESPEARE'S COMMENT ON DECEPTION
It is human nature to resort to deception.
Deception can be used either for good or for evil.
Deception often has a consequence.
IS DECEPTION AN ACCEPTABLE MEANS TO AN END IN THE PLAY?
In other words, is it an acceptable way to get what one wants?
Yes, if one's intentions are not evil.
One must be prepared to deal with consequences of deception.
Clearly, Macbeth was not prepared.
Macbeth's actions have negative consequences:
growing isolation from his wife
hallucinations and great mental deterioration
a changed reputation
Would YOU be prepared?