Key theme - Reality and Appearances

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  • Reality and appearances
    • Meanings of words are unclear
      • The Witches chant "fair is foul... is fair" suggests that things that appear good are actually evil.
      • Other characters speak using paradoxes eg. M says "Nothing is / But what is not". This creates uncertainty as it shows that nobody can tell what's real.
    • Appearances can be deceptive
      • Some characters often hide their thoughts and pretend to be something they aren't.
      • LM tells M to appear to be good so nobody suspects that he plans to kill Duncan.
      • M knows that he needs to have a "false face" to hide his acts. But, when he sees B's ghost his face shows his feelings.
      • At first, LM has no trouble disguising her behaviour. However, her guilt becomes too big to hide + she starts sleepwalking.
    • Some characters trust in appearances too much
      • In a world full of lies, characters suffer when they trust in appearances too much.
      • Duncan trusts M + dies for it, even though he made the same mistake with the previous TOC.
      • M knows that reality + appearances don't always match up, but he completely trusts the prophecies which leads to his downfall.
      • In contrast, Malcolm is immeadiately sceptical when his father is murdered and suspects one of the thanes.
        • His awareness of what "false" men can do causes him to flee and probably saves his life.

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