Summary: Examples of Appearance Vs Reality in Macbeth

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Macbeth is a play written by William Shakespeare in the early 1600’s. The story is about Macbeth and his path to becoming the king of Scotland. In Macbeth, the main theme of the Shakespeare play is Appearance vs Reality. It is used throughout the entire playwright. Appearance vs reality is one of the most common themes used in literature. It basically means that something is not always as it seems. For example, the first appearance may deceive someone before you find out what they are truly like. Shakespeare often uses this in his pieces of writing.

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Example of Appearance vs Reality in Macbeth were massive parts of the play. Lady macbeth was the mastermind behind the murder of King Duncan, and used charm and flattery to convince Macbeth to kill him. Lady Macbeth could be compared to Belle Gunness who was a Norwegian-American serial killer who would deceive many people and then eventually plan out her murders.Early in the story when the witches give their predictions to Macbeth, he sees the only possibility is becoming king, he completely loses sight about how the witches are actually evil, another example of appearance vs reality. Macbeth himself is an example, he served Duncan and seemed loyal to him, but was the one to eventually kill him to claim Duncans spot as king.

There are many ways in which you could connect many of the characters and events in Macbeth to real life situations. Macbeth himself could be compared to Kim Jong Il, the former leader of North Korea. He was described as someone who would do whatever it took to remain the leader. He was also known for for his ignorance and selfish lifestyle. He could also be compared to Joseph Stalin, a former leader of the soviet union during World War 2. He felt necessary to turn on all of those who opposed him, just like Macbeth turning on Banquo and Macduff. Both of these leaders did not show extraordinary leadership skills, but he had absolute authority in his position. Adolf Hitler and Napoleon Bonaparte could be compared to Macbeth in the way that they both wanted to be king, and would do anything like lower their moral standards to the lowest level to accomplish their goal, just like Macbeth.

Another political leader that could be compared to Macbeth is Mao Zedong. Mao Zedong was a Chinese communist revolutionary from 1949-1976. Mao feared for his own life, as he was scared that he would be poisoned in his sleep. He would abuse sleeping pills and found it extremely hard to sleep. It is similar to how Macbeth and Lady macbeth lost sleep because of the murder of Duncan. Almost any dictator can be compared to Macbeth's situation as a leader, due to the way they rule over their country.  

Works cited

  1. Shakespeare, William. (1606). Macbeth. London, England: First Folio.
  2. Bloom, H. (1998). Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human. New York, NY: Riverhead Books.
  3. Boyce, C. (1990). Shakespeare A to Z: The Essential Reference to His Plays, His Poems, His Life and Times, and More. New York, NY: Dell Publishing.
  4. Garber, M. (2010). Shakespeare After All. New York, NY: Anchor Books.
  5. Wells, S. (Ed.). (1997). The Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare Studies. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.
  6. Kehler, D. (2001). Macbeth: New Critical Essays. New York, NY: Routledge.
  7. Greenblatt, S. (2010). Will in the World: How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare. New York, NY: W. W. Norton & Company.
  8. Bate, J. (2009). Soul of the Age: A Biography of the Mind of William Shakespeare. New York, NY: Random House.
  9. Bradshaw, G. (2005). Shakespeare's Scepticism. London, England: Palgrave Macmillan.
  10. Daniels, P. (1995). Literature and Psychopathology: The Psychopathic Villain in Literature. New York, NY: New York University Press.

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