In a lifetime, forces of all types threaten a person’s well being. In order to further one’s own interests one must continually identify and act on these forces. Vision is an important part of a defence. Vision can evaluate a person quickly, summing up their sex, frame, clothing, and body language in seconds. Because this evaluation is based on such superficial qualities, a person’s true character is often misconstrued. That which appears to be an honest man may be a thief. That which appears helpless may be dangerous. That which appears to be a friend, a traitor. In his play Macbeth William Shakespeare demonstrates that threatening forces can be disguised by their appearance.
Duncan was fooled twice by the appearances of other characters in this play. His first mistake happened very early on, and involved the power system in Scotland. Although power in Scotland was invested entirely in the Kingship, there were many other people who held great sway in the political system. The King would appoint lower rulers in order to maintain better control over the country, a different authority for each division of land. These rulers were called Thanes and were intended to ensure that issues of micro-management, those of little importance to the King, were dealt with. Unfortunately, Duncan, the King of Scotland, was a poor judge of character. He appointed a man to the powerful Thaneship of Cawdor, rendering him “a prosperous gentleman, and to be king”. However, this “gentleman” allied himself with the Norwegians in an attempt to overthrow Scotland. He was later referred to as “that most disloyal traitor”. Fortunately for Duncan, his more loyal supporters, especially Macbeth and Banquo rallied around him and defeated the Norwegians. Duncan, realising his mistake even commented that “there’s no art to find the mind’s construction in the face”.
The Troubles Macbeth Faced Immediately After the Murder In this world a person is suffering from stress put on his shoulder. Due to the amount of stress, naturally a person cannot sleep with a mind empty of worries. Sometimes a person gets disconnected from God. The disconnection from God along with the increasing amount of stress and of lack of sleep could lead a person to depression and losing ...
He hoped he would never misjudge a person again but then turned his trust onto Macbeth, who had similar ambitions to the Thane of Cawdor. Macbeth and his wife Lady Macbeth then plot to use their new position of trust to seize the Scottish Crown. Lady Macbeth knows “to beguile the time, look like the time” and urges Macbeth to “look like th’ innocent flower but be the serpent under ‘t”. They put Duncan at ease by welcoming him into their castle, and making sure everything appears well. Duncan is thoroughly fooled by this ploy, as the pleasant surroundings and his gratitude to Macbeth blind him. He even comments that “this castle hath a pleasant seat” and “the air nibly and sweetly recommends itself”. King Duncan was dead by sunrise. Twice the appearance of the situation disguised the threats to Duncan’s security. His failure to recognise the threatening forces resulted in his untimely dethroning.
William Shakespeare shows us again the unreliability of appearance later on in the play. Malcomn, a trustworthy man and heir to the throne disguises his intentions with mere words. Malcomn wishes to test Macduff’s loyalty to Scotland. Malcomn outrageously claims that if he were crowned “black Macbeth will seem as pure as snow”. He calls himself “luxurious, avaricious, false, deceitful, sudden,” and “malicious”. Surprisingly, Malcomn only backs up these claims with the single statement “I am as I have spoken” and receives no argument or questioning from Macduff. Fortunately, Macduff responds favourably and Malcomn’s hoax is dropped. However, if Macduff had not responded so, his name would be blackened as a traitor and he would surely suffer the consequences if Malcomn became the king. By not identifying the Malcomn’s bluff, Macduff put himself in a potentially dangerous situation.
Macbeth effectively illustrates how deceiving appearance can be. In a variety of situations, characters are left at the mercy of threatening forces simply because they did not identify they danger under an insidious appearance. Often these characters would find themselves punished for their gullibility, as deception is a powerful danger. The entire tragedy of Macbeth would have been averted if not for its force.
Macbeth vs. Macduff The conflict between Macbeth and Macduff is very important, one which ultimately leads to the demise of Macbeth. Macduff, who at one point is very loyal to Macbeth, becomes Macbeth s adversary as time progresses. These two hey are foil characters. Their characteristics are so different, and so opposite one another that Macduff's goodness highlights, or accentuates Macbeths' ...