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Deception in Macbeth

  • Date Submitted: 03/06/2014 03:10 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 46 
  • Words: 1348
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Macduff is the archetype of the avenging hero, not simply out for revenge but with a good and holy purpose. Macduff is the character who has two of the most significant roles in the play: First, he is the discoverer of Duncan's body. Second, the news of the callous murder of his wife and children (Act IV, Scene 3) spurs him toward his desire to take personal revenge upon the tyrannical Macbeth. When he knocks at the gate of Macbeth's castle in Act II, Scene 3, he is being equated with the figure of Christ, who before his final ascension into Heaven, goes down to release the souls of the damned from hell (the so-called "Harrowing of Hell").
A major dramatic technique that Shakespeare employs to illustrate deception practised by Macbeth and allow the audience to see the degradation of Macbeth from a noble warrior to assassin is juxtaposition. It serves throughout the course of the play to draw a line of demarcation between Macbeth’s mind and his appearance to other characters in the play. While the audience access to both of his personal thoughts and outward show, the characters in the play do not have the benefit of such knowledge. Hence, the audience realize Macbeth as a deceitful character who preys on unsuspecting victims such as Duncan and Banquo. His mind is conveyed through asides and soliloquy which undoubtedly speaks the truth of his heart and mind. In Act 1 Scene 4, Macbeth speaks in a famous aside about Malcolm’s appointment at the heir to the throne: “The Prince of Cumberland – that is a step on which I must fall down or else overleap, for in my way it lies”. Yet he maintains his courteous overture with Duncan, receiving the king’s praise: “My worthy Cawdor”. Macbeth’s contemplation, as the most reliable conveyance of his innermost feelings form in juxtaposition a dialectical relationship in order to reach a higher truth; Macbeth’s mind and face are constantly displayed one after another for the audience to reach a relevant conclusion that Macbeth is...

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