Illusion In Macbeth

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Regarded as arguably the greatest mind in literature, William Shakespeare spent much of his 52 years writing. Not only is he remembered as a master wordsmith, he also wrote as if he was running out of time. On top of writing poetry and making time for other pursuits, Shakespeare somehow managed to produce nearly forty plays in a span of 23 years. As if that is not enough, Shakespeare also reshaped the English language more to his liking, by creating nearly 1700 new words. A master of the theatre, Shakespeare did more than simply create plays, but truly captured the essence of the theatre. Whether it was a tragedy, history, or even a comedy, Shakespeare was able to incorporate theatrical elements within his plays. One of his greatest elements …show more content…

The production revolves around a guilt-ridden man, who falls deep in the rabbit hole of insanity. Perhaps the greatest example of Macbeth’s insanity is his hallucination preceding the murder of Duncan: “Is this a dagger which I see before me, The handle toward my hand? Come, let me clutch thee.” (II, i, 33-35). With Macbeth’s accounts of events being cast into doubt, the line between reality and illusion is blurred when Macbeth sees the ghost of Banquo in his seat. Although Banquo’s ghost is most likely Macbeth’s insanity, the possibility that the ghost is there simply to torture Macbeth, as he believes that “It will have blood, they say. Blood will have blood.” (III, iv, 128). Appearances versus reality does not just include faux visions, but people being fake externally as well. This can be seen by Lady Macbeth telling her husband to “Look like th ' innocent flower, But be the serpent under ’t.”, which means that she wants her husband to seem as if he is innocent, while preparing to murder Duncan (I, v, 56-58). With an abundance of fakery and illusions, Macbeth is one of Shakespeare’s greatest examples of appearances versus …show more content…

Whether it is Hamlet’s antic disposition, or Macbeth’s mask of friendship, it is clearly evident that not everything is as it seems. Yet Shakespeare does more than just show that people put up a false exterior, he also places events into doubt. All the way from Macbeth’s encounter to the witches, to his hallucinations, his version of reality is constantly in doubt. From Hamlet’s conversations with Ophelia, to his acknowledging of the ghost which his mother cannot see, his sanity is placed into doubt. On top of this, Shakespeare also relates the theater to life. He uses theatrical elements, such as the troupe of actors, to hold up a mirror to the real world. Despite most of the events in these tragedies being placed under a questioning light, Shakespeare is able to provide a medium with which one can look at life’s

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