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Word Count: 540
Fair is Foul and Foul is Fair in Macbeth The quote from the three witches Fair is foul and foul is fair echoes throughout the story and is the backbone of the many switches that occur between and amongst the characters and their positions Macbeths opening line reinforces this theme with So foul and fair a day I have not yet seen He describes the day as foul after having to brutally slay so many men The day is fair because of his absolute triumph and assured rewards This as with many things in the play see-saws back and forth his fair winnings and heightened position turn foul again by the end of the play Possibly the most notable switch occurs between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth When Lady Macbeth learns of the witches prophecy she is absolute in her decision to kill the King Macbeth while he clearly likes the idea and even shares her desire falters on holding his promise to her until she threatens his manhood directly After he kills the King and Banquo separately he is distraught with shame and guilt while Lady Macbeth holds herself together and covers for his strange behavior In Act V we see Lady Macbeth falling apart a downfall we later learn leads her to suicide Macbeth on the other hand has forgotten his guilt and is even willing to fight in the face of certain death when he learns of Macduffs unmotherly birth While both characters may be viewed as foul the theme still applies One would expect stereotypically that Macbeth would be the one trying to convince his queasy wife that killing the King would be a blessing Instead Shakespeare turns things upside down and puts the pants on Lady Macbeth Just as were beginning to accept this he turns it around again with Lady Macbeths suicide and Macbeths heroic although evil bravery
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