Appearance versus Reality In Shakespeare’s Macbeth, many themes ad motifs are repeated throughout the entire play. The most important theme is appearance versus reality. Throughout Macbeth, things that appear to be good are, in fact, bad. Macbeth appears to be kind and honorable, but he is actually a ruthless murderer. Lady Macbeth appears to be strong and ruthless, when, in fact, she becomes very remorseful. Other important parts of the play that emphasize the theme are when the witches give Macbeth his two sets of prophecies which seem good and clear cut, but are really paradoxes.
The best way to fully understand the importance of appearance versus reality is to carefully look at the development of Macbeth, Lady Macbeth, and the witches’ prophecies.In the beginning of the play, Macbeth is portrayed as a brave captain that serves his king with great honor. After Macbeth hears the prophecies from the witches, a change in his thought process is noticed immediately. His ambition is noticed, but it does not drive him to murder early in the play.
One important thing that Macbeth states is that “I have no spur/ to prick 2 the sides of my intent, but only/ Vaulting ambition, which o’erleaps itself/ and falls on th’ other”, which shows that he his ambition is becoming so strong that it is making him think of committing murder. ( I, VII, 25-27). This however, soon changes. Macbeth becomes so ambitious that he begins to kill people for unnecessary reasons. For example he kills Banquo, who was supposedly his friend. Macbeth clearly explains his reasons in the following lines ” He hath a wisdom that doth guide his valor/ to act in safety.