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The Masks in Macbeth
Nobody’s real, everyone’s hiding something, everyone has dark secrets that could hurt others or themselves. Everyone has a mask, a cover, a veil, everyone pretends to be someone they are really not. It’s not paranoia, it’s not that I hate the world, it’s not even that there’s some psychology behind it, it’s the influence of one of the greatest plays written by Shakespeare. It’s one of those plays that has a powerful theme that is revealed since the first scene, it’s one of those themes that leave you thinking about human nature, it’s one of those themes that can actually be very true. In The Tragedy of Macbeth by William Shakespeare, no one is really who they seem to be since the characters seem to be someone who they are not and deceive others to get away with things they do.
The first clear example that show up in the play is that of the Thane of Cawdor. The Thane betrays the king in battle and is charged with treason, that’s when one of the most powerful themes of this play appears because at first Malcolm talks and explains how the Thane had asked for forgiveness, then King Duncan says:
“There’s no art to find the mind’s construction in the face:
he was a gentleman on whom I built an absolute trust.”
-King Duncan, Act I, scene iv
That’s the first example of masks, but remember, the theme that nothing seems what it really is appears since the beginning with “fair is foul and foul is fair” (Three Witches, Act I scene I). The betrayal of the Thane of Cawdor is just a way for King Duncan to express to Malcolm what he thinks and a method Shakespeare used to show us the mask theme.




Bibliography:

"English Literature with World Masterpieces" MacMillan Literature Series. Glencoe Macmillan/MacGraw-Hill publishers.