Equivocation In Macbeth Analysis

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“Fair is foul, and foul is fair”. Equivocation. Equivocation is the use of deliberately misleading words to mislead people. The use of such equivocation is frequent in William Shakespeare’s Macbeth, being integral to its plot by driving much of the action. The vile witches manage to cultivate the subconscious desire to be king in Macbeth. Then, when Macbeth seeks the witches, they further equivocate, orchestrating his downfall by misleading him. The author also depicts Malcolm using equivocation to deceive MacDuff into revealing his true personality, helping him develop a valuable alliance to defeat Macbeth. From these instances of deception in Macbeth, Shakespeare shows equivocation as a weapon. Equivocation is a weapon that grants significant power over a situation to its caster by enabling them to reveal the true intentions of the victim and manipulate their action with the results depending on the intent of the equivocator. In the beginning of the play, the witches set forth the tragic actions to follow by using equivocation on Macbeth. These wicked beings manage to accomplish tempting Macbeth, drawing out his desire for kingship, engineering the death of Duncan. Firstly, the author shows this through Banquo’s caution to Macbeth for considering the plausibility of the Witches’ equivocal prophecies using tropology and rhetoric. Sensing Macbeth’s growing obsession with the prophecies, he compares the witches to “instruments of darkness [who] tell us truths/ Win us with
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