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Appearances vs. Reality

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Presentation on theme: "Appearances vs. Reality"— Presentation transcript:

1 Appearances vs. Reality
“Fair is foul, and foul is fair.” Appearances vs. Reality

2 Other ways of talking about this theme...
Deception Appearances can be decieving Paradox We hide who we really are Public mask vs private face The deceptive nature of humanity.

3 Fair is foul, and foul is fair...
Right from the start of the play, there are indicators that not every thing will be as it seems. Deception is always present, with Macbeth, Lady Macbeth and the witches being the chief instigators of deception. The play clearly shows that living a life of deception will ultimately end in disaster.

4 Masks... Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are shown in a fearful huddle, plotting the murder of Duncan. To conceal their guilt of this conspiracy with pretended innocence, Macbeth advises: "False face must hide what the false heart doth know."

5 Look like the innocent flower, but be the serpent underneath it...
Macbeth is led by his wife, but also his own ambitions, which drives him to use any means necessary to achieve his goals. He deceived his comrades: Banquo Duncan The Public And ultimately himself.

6 Icebergs...

7 The Witches The witches are not as they appear
Banquo says they have beards, but look like woman. The prophecies are designed to decieve Macbeth The second set of prophecies are worded in a way which foreshadows Macbeth’s downfall while giving him a false sense of security.


9 Lady Macbeth Look like the innocent flower, But be the serpent under it. --Lady Macbeth, Act I, scene v On the surface Lady Macbeth is cool, calm and confident. This mask deteriorates throughout the play, culminating in the sleepwalking scene, where we see the psychological toll the guilt has had on Lady Macbeth.

10 A little blood clears us of this deed...
Unsex me here, turn my milk to gall... Out Damn Spot out... Oh will these little hands never be clean? Macduff tells her to not look upon the murder

11 Macbeth “Stars, hide your fires: Let not light see my black and deep desires: The eye wink at the hand; yet let that be Which the eye fears, when it is done, to see." --Act 1, Scene 5, Lines 50-3: Macbeth to himself "False face must hide what the false heart doth know." --Act 1, Scene 8, Line 82: Macbeth to his wife Is this a dagger I see before me?

12 Lady Macbeth knows that Macbeth needs instruction in how to maintain the appearance of innocence as he plots and executes Duncan's murder (she believes he has a weaker "nature" than she does). In reality he is stronger. After the murder, Macbeth appears to be horrified and devastated by the crimes when, in reality, he is the perpetrator.  Macbeth continues to maintain false appearances.  He portrays himself as a loyal friend to Banquo while he secretly plans his murder.   Most kinsmen believe Macbeth to be a strong, loyal, intelligent, virtuous ruler who has earned his titles through his merit while the reality is that Macbeth has violently and dishonestly moved up in rank after his last earned title of Thane of Cawdor. One major lesson to be learned from Macbeth: things are almost never how they appear!

13 “Nothing is / But what is not” (1. 3
“Nothing is / But what is not” ( ) seems to be one of the most direct statements of Macbeth concerning the theme of appearance vs. reality. Macbeth says this as an aside in trying to figure out what the witches mean by their predictions, and this follows his (near) repetition of the witches’ chant concerning “fair and foul”.

14 King Duncan While Duncan is a good king, he is a terrible judge of character. He promotes not one, but two traitors! He believes you can trust what you see with your eyes (compare that to Banquo and Macbeth!) “This Castle has a pleasant seat” To Lady Macbeth “our honoured hostess.” There's no art to find the mind's construction in the face. --Duncan, Act I, scene iv

15 King Duncan While Macbeth says he is a good king, Scotland is already in a civil war at the start of the play. He may be good, but it is obvious he is not strong. Ends up dead as a result of his belief in trusting what you can see.

16 Characters within the play appear to be true and honest but in reality are infested with evil. Many of the characters within the play hide behind a mask of falseness.

17 Scenes in which things aren’t what they seem...
LM welcoming D to Dunsinane M murdering the guard “killers”. Banquet scene in which M toasts Banquo. Is this a dagger I see before me? Banquo’s ghost. - both of these could just be figments of Macbeth’s imagination, or the supernatural. Any of the witches scenes. M questions whether they are agents of good or evil, order or chaos. Macbeth thinks they are neutral. Ambiguity of the prophecies

18 Symbols which show things aren't what they seem
Clothing – M dressed in “borrowed robes” – for thane of Cawdor and kingship. Feels more comfortable in armour – symbol of warrior, not king. Animals – symbol of nature and that which is natural. Horses eating each other. Owl killing a hawk. This shows a country in chaos (remember great chain of being). Sleep as a symbol of a clear conscience – “ Macbeth doth murder sleep”

19 Soliloquies as a technique...
The use of soliloquies are an essential tool for developing our understanding of appearances vs. reality. Lady Macbeth Act 1 Sc 5 “Unsex me here” vs sleepwalking scene. Macbeth Act 1 Sc 8 before Lady Macbeth convinces him to kill Duncan. It shows he is torn as to what to do.

20 Introduction to themes essay...
Daniel Webster once stated, “The world is governed more by appearances than realities, so that it is fully as necessary to seem to know something as to know it.” In other words, much of what goes on in the world is due to what people think rather than what actually is; therefore, the only thing one must do is present himself in the way he wants others to believe he truly is. The play Macbeth by William Shakespeare best exemplifies this quote by the use of various literary devices, including characterization, symbols, and soliloquies. The play makes several references to how things appear versus the truth. Through Shakespeare’s in depth development of the theme of appearance vs. reality, nearly everything in the tragedy must be questioned at some point due to the uncertainty of appearances.

21 Real life examples of appearances versus reality...
Photoshopped photos (models, and politicians!) Make up covers up reality. Wonder bras, plastic surgery, infomercial items... Court cases with criminals in suits Movies and television What else? Public mask vs. Private face... Using prescription drugs to help suppress underlying problems e.g. Stress, depression, anxiety.

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