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Fair Is Foul And Foul Is Fair Examples

Macbeth is a play written by William Shakespeare that tells the story of Macbeth, a Scottish general who murders Duncan, the King of Scotland, in order to fulfill a prophecy and become king himself. The prophecy states that Macbeth will become king when “fair is foul and foul is fair.” This theme is evident throughout the play as Macbeth becomes more and more corrupt while trying to maintain the appearance of being a just and noble ruler.

In the end, Macbeth’s crimes catch up with him and he is overthrown by Macduff, a loyal subject of the king. The theme of “fair is foul, foul is fair” serves as a warning to those who would seek power through means that are not honorable. Macbeth’s downfall is a cautionary tale about the dangers of ambition and the corrupting nature of power.

The phrase “Fair is foul, foul is fair” appears in the play ‘Macbeth.’ Explain what it means and offer examples from the play to support your response. One of the last lines in Act 1, Scene 1 of the play comes from one of the three witches. Before they disperse, she says this concise line: “Fair is foul, and foul is fair.”

In Macbeth, the theme of ‘fair is foul, and foul is fair’ is seen as a warning to Macbeth about the corrupting influence of power and ambition. The line suggests that what might seem good could actually be bad, and vice versa.

An example of this theme can be found in Act 1, Scene 3 when Macbeth is debating whether or not to kill Duncan. Macbeth starts by listing all of the reasons why he should not kill Duncan: Duncan has been a good king, Macbeth is loyal to him, Duncan has done nothing wrong to Macbeth, and killing Duncan would go against all of Macbeth’s morals.

However, Macbeth then starts to think about all of the reasons why he should kill Duncan: Macbeth would be king, Macbeth would no longer have to worry about anyone finding out his plan, and Macbeth would finally have the power that he has always wanted. In the end, Macbeth decides to go through with the murder even though it goes against everything he believes in because he is more ambitious for the crown than he is loyal to Duncan.

The theme of ‘fair is foul, and foul is fair’ can also be seen in Act 3, Scene 2 when Macbeth starts to become paranoid about Banquo. Macbeth sees Banquo as a threat because Banquo knows about the witches’ prophecy that Macbeth will become king. Macbeth is afraid that Banquo will try to take the throne away from him, so he hires murderers to kill Banquo and his son Fleance.

However, Macbeth’s plan backfires because Banquo’s ghost starts to haunt him and Macbeth becomes even more paranoid. In the end, Macbeth’s paranoia leads to his downfall because he becomes so obsessed with killing anyone who might be a threat to his kingship that he loses all sense of reason.

The theme of ‘fair is foul, and foul is fair’ is an important warning about the corrupting influence of power and ambition. Macbeth is a perfect example of how someone can start out as a good person, but the ambition for power can quickly turn them into a evil person. The theme is still relevant today because there are many examples of people in positions of power who have let their ambition corrupt them.

The connotations of this one line grow throughout the play, from Macbeth’s opinions at the start to his death, with continual recurring themes of deception, doing evil in the name of good, equivocation and ambition. We see that even events and motifs as they emerge may be predicted through these first few lines in Act 1 Scene 1 , which surround Macbeth’s downfall.

Macbeth’s first soliloquy in Act 1 Scene 3 begins with “So foul and fair a day I have not seen”, from line 45. This is significant as Macbeth is immediately juxtaposing good and evil, likely due to the witches’ prophecies about his kingship that he has just heard.

The witches tell Macbeth that he will be “thane of Cawdor” and eventually “king hereafter” (1.3.50-51). Macbeth is torn between being content with his current station in life or whether he should grasp at this new power that has been presented to him, even if it means resorting to foul means.

The line “Fair is foul, and foul is fair,” from Macbeth’s point of view, has significant meaning. When the witches say it, we initially assume they are speaking plainly: what is good or beautiful for the witches is evil or odious, while what is bad and filthy for the witches is clean and lovely. 

But Macbeth begins to use the line himself, ‘So fair and foul a day I have not seen,’ after he has met with the witches and has been tempted by their predictions. He is thinking about whether to kill Duncan or not. Macbeth decides that if killing Duncan will help him to fulfil the witches’ prophecies, then he will do it, even though it goes against his nature. In other words, for Macbeth ‘fair is foul and foul is fair.’

The line also reflects the general state of affairs in Scotland at the time the play was written. England and Scotland were two separate countries and they were often at war with each other. In the play, Duncan is the King of Scotland and Macbeth murders him so that he can take his place. This would have been seen as a foul act by many people, but to Macbeth it was a fair act because it meant that he could become the King.

The line ‘fair is foul and foul is fair’ is also used to describe the characters in the play. Macbeth starts off as a good man, but he allows himself to be corrupted by power and ambition. Lady Macbeth is the opposite, she is ambitious and wants power, but she is not a good person. The line ‘fair is foul and foul is fair’ reminds us that appearances can be deceptive and that we should not always trust what we see.

When we compare the quotation to the rest of the play’s themes, we see a deeper meaning in it. We realize that this quote is one of the play’s underlying themes that is reflected throughout the plot. We notice that a similar line alludes to Macbeth’s victory in the war, which is highlighted by the line, “So foul and fair a day I have not seen.” We infer that while the day was fair in triumph, it was filthy and dismal in terms of lives lost and dreary weather endured by his troops afterwards.

The day is also foul because Macbeth has to resort to underhanded methods to win the war. This theme is represented heavily in Macbeth as many of the events that occur throughout the play could be seen as both fair and foul. Duncan’s murder could be seen as foul because it’s an act of treason but Macbeth sees it as fair because it allows him to become king.

In a similar way, Macbeth’s death could be seen as both fair and foul depending on your perspective. Those who were loyal to Macbeth may have seen his death as unfair because he was betrayed by those close to him. However, those who were against Macbeth may have seen his death as a fair resolution to the story.

‘Fair is foul, and foul is fair’ is a theme that is repeated often throughout Macbeth and it’s something that the characters are constantly aware of. The theme reflects the idea that things are not always as they seem and that appearances can be deceiving.

This is something that Macbeth learns the hard way as he’s constantly making decisions based on his own appearance and perception of events. In the end, Macbeth’s downfall is a result of him trusting appearances too much and not being able to see the reality of what’s happening around him.

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