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Macbeth essay on equivocation



A false statement, or a statement intended to deceive someone is better known as a lie. A lie which tells half the truth is called equivocation. Of course, there are many different types of lies; there are lies which do not tell the truth, equivocation, lies of omission, and those "white" lies which do not hurt anyone. There are also many different reasons for telling a lie. Some might lie to cover the truth, others might lie because it became a habit to them when they were a young child. But why would someone use equivocation? Someone might use equivocation to allow the recipient to draw their own interpretation of the matter, as a result, causing them to make a hasty decision. To picture the difference between a lie and equivocation, let us use a mask and call it "LIE". A lie would be like covering up your face with that mask, so that no one can see the truth. But equivocation is like putting on only half the mask, to show only half the truth.

In the Shakespearean play, Macbeth, wicked and evil witches deceive their victim, Macbeth, by equivocating his prophecies. As a result of this new "half-true" knowledge, Macbeth makes rash decisions that lead him to paranoia, grief, and his downfall.

The first set of prophecies the witches reveal to Macbeth, in act 1, scene 3, was that Macbeth is to become thane of Glamis, thane of Cawdor and that he shall be king. They also said "Thou shalt get kings, though thou be none." Macbeth was shocked when the first two prophecies came true. In act 1, scene 3 he spoke of his fears, saying "unfix my hair, and make my seated heart knock at my ribs." In Elizabethan times, witches were known as creatures of the devils; satanic creatures who roam the world to cause destruction and chaos. But how can devils speak of great truths? Macbeth's new intelligence was then reported to his wife. He writes about how he will become king. But how was he going to do this? One of Macbeth's rash decisions was to murder the King.

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