Darren Gould Miss MacDonald ENG3U29 November 2017Appearance is Deceiving The theme of deception, and false facades is very present throughout William Shakespeare’s play, The Tragedy of Macbeth. There are many quotes to support this such as ones spoken by Duncan, Donalbain, and Lady Macbeth, as well as dramatic irony to prove that some character’s appearances can be deceiving.
“Fair is foul, and foul is fair”(I.i.12-13) This quote is likely the most important piece of evidence that supports the theme of deceiving appearances. The quote directly states that everything is not how it seems, and that everything is backwards in the world, things that are normally good are now foul and things that seem to be foul turn out to be good. Macbeth is first seen as brave, and valiant, and later turns out to be “This tyrant, whose sole name blisters our tongues”(IV.iii.
12) and a character such as Lady Macbeth, who at the start of the play seems to be a cold, and remorseless person, is later destroyed by grief over her own actions. All of this proves that people are not always as they seem. “There’s daggers in men’s smiles”(II.iv.
165) This quote was spoken by Donalbain while he was speaking with Malcolm after the assassination of Duncan. Donalbain says this because he thinks nobody can be trusted, and that while some may seem trustworthy, they will stab you in the back when an opportunity presents itself. This quote is clear evidence that appearances can be deceiving, especially considering we know that while Macbeth is trying to pretend to be innocent, and he pretends to take his rage out on the Chamberlains to make others think he is sad for the loss of his king, we know that he is really behind the murder of Duncan, and therefore, quite literally a dagger hidden behind a smile. “This castle hath a pleasant seat”