• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

How Does Macbeth turn from fair to foul? In the play 'Macbeth', the words 'fair' and 'foul' appear many times. These words are used by the witches

Extracts from this document...


Macbeth How Does Macbeth turn from fair to foul? In the play 'Macbeth', the words 'fair' and 'foul' appear many times. These words are used by the witches and these words symbolise good and evil. These witches will play a game which will turn Macbeth from good to evil. In the first scene of the first act, three witches plan their next meeting in which they will encounter Macbeth. It is in this scene that the motif is first presented and it sets the scene for the rest of the play, as the three witches chant, 'fair is foul, and foul is fair, hover through the fog and filthy air'. The witches meet again in scene three of act one. One of the witches discusses a curse she has placed on a woman's husband who she refused to share her food. This display of evil supernatural powers and spitefulness suggests that the witches may have some influence on the development of the motif. ...read more.


Act one scene five sees Macbeth and Lady Macbeth planning to kill Duncan who is the king of Scotland. On line fifteen, Lady Macbeth is talking about Macbeth, 'Yet do I fear thy nature; It is too full o' the milk of human kindness, To catch the nearest way'. Lady Macbeth feels that Macbeth is too good to murder Duncan. She goes on and says to spirits, 'unsex me here and fill me from the crown to the toe top full of direst cruelty'. She wants to be cruel like the witches so she can carry out the wicked, evil plans to murder Duncan. Macbeth arrives later and Lady Macbeth says, ' look like the innocent flower, But be the serpent under't'. She is telling Macbeth how to conduct the murder; she is persuading him to go through with it and not change his mind. In scene seven of the first act, Macbeth starts off with his big soliloquy. ...read more.


In these lines, Lady Macbeth threatens that she would smash her baby's head if it meant achieving their goals. After killing Duncan and becoming queen, she realises her mistakes and is driven mentally ill by it. In her case, she has gone from what was once foul, to become fair - so this is ironic. Macbeth has believed every thing the witches have said and they have led him to the foul or evil side. Macbeth has replaced his belief in God with a belief in them. Near the end of the play, just when he is about to die, he says, 'And be these juggling fiends no more believ'd', this is ironic because he does listen to them when he is alive but he doesn't when he is about to die. Throughout the play, Macbeth, the general mood is one of deceit and betrayal. There is lots of positive diction in the beginning but then there is suddenly more negative diction such as 'fear', 'killed' and 'cruelty'. What appears to be fair is foul. ?? ?? ?? ?? Mahesh Vidhyadharan 11K6 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Macbeth section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Macbeth essays

  1. Examine The Dramatic Significance Of The Theme 'fair Is Foul' In Macbeth

    Macbeth is intrigued by the Witches and later tells Lady Macbeth that he "burned in desire" to question them. Macbeth asks the witches to stay showing that he is interested in their predictions: "Stay, you imperfect speakers, tell me more."

  2. “Fair is foul and foul is fair”. Show how this image recurs and develops ...

    elaborate metaphors, "a bond of fate", "sleep in spite of thunder" - when the fantastical plot of Macduff's Caesarean section sees Macduff as the one with the powers, when he eventually kills the totally believing Macbeth. Shakespeare develops the character of Macbeth as a study of the supernatural when what

  1. Fair is foul and foul is fair

    Obviously Macbeth felt that since it was in the future then it didn't matter how exactly he would become king. Macbeth decided to take action on himself and not wait around for his prize. "Although Macbeth has considered killing Duncan in the past it is not certain that he would

  2. “Fair is Foul and Foul is Fair” - What factors contribute to the downfall ...

    However they show total disrespect towards him and disappear, leaving the two bewildered. The hag's prophecies clearly have much power over Macbeth, more so than Banquo. It was the sorceress', not Macbeth that chose the moment of their first meeting and I believe they picked a time which would leave him more vulnerable and willing to be influenced by them.

  1. Fair is foul, and foul is fair'

    Also the audience would know the withes were evil because they thought the number 3 was the number of the devil, and the witches were associated many times with the number 3. All this evil in the play, like the witches being able to call up storms, and conjure up

  2. Examine the Dramatic Significance of the Theme 'Fair Is Foul' In Macbeth.

    state of man´┐Ż" Macbeth's reaction is as if someone has read his mind, whereas Banquo is reluctant to believe the witches and is aware that they are not what they seem. If their predictions were already thoughts in the back of Macbeth's mind, then the witches don't have very much power over him at this point.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work