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Macbeth Essay Fair is foul and foul is fair The Shakespearean play Macbeth is full of paradoxes and things are seldom what they seem The theme of ambiguity and double meaning is played upon throughout the play starting with the witchs prophecies Many characters in the play also show good and evil qualities that become more evident as the play progresses In addition the theme of what is appearance and what is reality is also used throughout the play These areas combined clearly reinforce the theme of good vs evil and show that things are rarely what they seem to be The witches prophecies are paradoxes and have double meanings This is clearly evident when Banquo receives the three predictions from the witches In act 1 scene 3 the witches tell Banquo that he will be Lesser than Macbeth and greater Not so happy yet much happier Thou shalt get kings though thou be noneI iii 68-70 The witches prophecies are contradictions with each other and have double meanings For example Banquo wont be king but he will father a long line of kings and Macbeth as king should be far happier than Banquo but Banquo is inwardly happier than Macbeth because he has a free conscience These paradoxes are just the beginning of the paradoxical nature of the play After the appearance of Banquos ghost Macbeth seeks the witches for a second encounter which again is full of paradoxical predictions The second apparition informs him that for none of woman born shall harm Macbeth IV I 86-87 and the third apparition informs him that Macbeth shall never vanquishd be until Great Birnam wood to high Dunsinane hill Shall come against him IV I 100-102 Macbeth believes that he is invincible but the paradox of the first apparition is that Macduff isnt technically born of
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