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Appearance vs. Reality

             Frequently in literature, the way something is displayed, or how it appears, clashes with what is really the case, or reality. William Shakespeare's Macbeth contains many circumstances where this theme is portrayed. For example, when Macbeth is plotting the murder of King Duncan, his wife advises him to cover up his true emotions with a smile on his face and a positive attitude. This theme is also demonstrated when Macbeth encounters the ghost of Banquo, who is not really there, it is simply Macbeth's imagination. Lastly, when Lady Macbeth imagines blood on her hands then goes into a frenzy trying to rid herself of it, this event shows yet another portrayal of the theme, for the blood is not actually there.
             Macbeth conceals from the world, with the exception of his wife, that he plans to kill King Duncan. He does this after being persuaded by Lady Macbeth to hide his evil intent by pretending that everything is fine. "Look like the innocent flower but be the serpent under't." (Act 1 Scene V, lines 68-69) This is what Lady Macbeth tells Macbeth to do with his attitude while planning the murder. They both decide that they must act like kind, loyal people on the outside, and not let on to anyone that they are actually planning a malevolent deed. Macbeth is especially deceitful to Duncan in the hours before he carries out the murder. Macbeth is heard saying to the King, "The service and the loyalty I owe, in doing it pays itself." (Act 1, Scene IV lines 25-26) This is a great example of how Macbeth is cunning in his misleading actions. He is saying to King Duncan that having the honor of serving him is its own reward, yet in his mind he is plotting a way to do away with him, so he can have that level of power for himself. .
             In Act III, Macbeth enters the banquet that he himself is hosting, and finds his seat occupied by the ghost of the late Banquo, who was just recently murdered upon Macbeth's orders.

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