Macbeth – Reality vs. Appearance- Key quotes Flashcard Example #81590

”Fair is foul, and foul is fair’
it means that appearances are often deceptive, and that things are different from what they appear to be. This line also points towards the play’s concern with the inconsistency between appearance and reality. Though it is a knotty and difficult idea, nevertheless it suggests that in this world, you can never be sure whether it is a mirage, an apparition, or a dagger.
‘Wither are they vanished?;… Or have we eaten on the insane ‘
Macbeth and Banquo repeatedly ask questions. This shows their confusion – They cannot believe what they’ve seen
There’s no art to find the mind’s construction in thy face: He was a gentleman on whom I built an absolute trust
Duncan says that people may seem good and trustworthy but they might not be. It’s dramatically ironic because he misjudges Macbeth.
look like th’ innocent flower, but be the serpent under’t
Lady Macbeth encourages Macbeth to deceive Duncan by pretending to be something he’s not
Mine eyes are made the fools o’ the other senses … I see thee still
Macbeth isn’t sure whether the dagger he sees is real or not. It’s not clear to the audience if the Witches have created the hallucination or he’s imagining it
‘Tis not for you to hear what I can speak. The repetition in a woman’s ear would murder as it fell
Macduff thinks that because Lady Macbeth is a woman, she is too vulnerable to hear about the murder. It’s ironic because Lady Macbeth wanted to cast off her femininity in A1S5 to make a capable of murder
Help me hence, ho!
In some predictions Lady Macbeth only pretends to faint, do to distract everyone from Macbeth’s suspicious actions, but in others she faints because she is shocked that Macbeth changes their plan and kills the grooms
There’s daggers in men’s smiles
Donalbain says that people hide their true intensions. This echoed what Lady Macbeth says earlier (A1S5L64-65)
Chief guest; Ride you this afternoon?
Macbeth’s flattering Banquo to make him feel safe and to find out his whereabouts so he can have him murdered that evening
Play the humble host
Macbeth attempts to “play the humble host”. He’ll pretend to be a good host well hired murderers kill one of his guests
Angels are bright still, though the brightest fell
Malcom says that it’s hard to tell who’s good and who’s evil. This echoes Duncan in A1S4L11-12
Act 1, scene 7, Macbeth:
False face must hide what the false heart doth
know.
Macbeth’s appearance must hide that he will kill King Duncan.
Act 2, scene 4, Macduff:
Malcolm and Donalbain, the King’s two sons,
Are stol’n away and fled, which puts upon them
Suspicion of the deed.
You may look guilty when you run—but you look a lot worse when you’re dead. Malcolm and Donalbain are willing to put up with the appearance of guilt if it means that they’ll be able to avenge their father in the end.
Act 4, scene 1 witches:
” None of woman born shall harm Macbeth”
Macbeth takes this to mean no one can kill him because everyone is born of women, but later we find out Macduff is an exception to this.
“And be these juggling fiends no more believed that palter with us in a double sense, that keep the word of promise in our ear and brake it to our hope.”
Macbeth realizes that the witches lead him on to do evil by tempting him with false promises

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