Macbeth: Lying


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 a 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 that we study in grade eleven English titled
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.

Macbeth had invited the King, and the King's men to come over to his
castle to celebrate the victory of the battle that had been won. That
night, when everyone was asleep, Macbeth took a dagger and killed the King.
After the murder he became very paranoid. In act 2 scene 2, he shows us
this, "Didst thou not hear a noise? ...There's one did laugh in's sleep,
and one cried `murder!', Methought I heard a voice cry `Sleep no more!
Macbeth does murder sleep'...I am afraid to think what I have done; look
on't again I dare not."

Macbeth become king. He then called upon murderers as a result of his
paranoia, to execute Banquo, a friend of his that knew about the
prophecies. Paranoia had taken over his life so much that his wife was
left out of his plans. He had become so paranoid, that his feelings had
become numb, shown in act 5, scene 5, "I have almost forgot the taste of
fears: The time has been, my senses would have cool'd to hear a
night-shriek." Not only did his paranoia cause him grief, but also the
unhappiness of his wife, Lady Macbeth who commits suicide in Act 5.
Macbeth shows his remorse after he finds out the news, "To-morrow, and
to-morrow and to-morrow, creeps in this petty pace from day to day, to this
last syllable of recorded time...Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
that struts and frets his hour upon the stage, and then is heard no
more...signifying nothing". Meanwhile, Macduff, travelled to England to
meet Malcolm. There, they planned on joining forces to defeat Macbeth.

Macbeth then meet the witches once again, and heard another set of
prophecies. These new prophecies told him to beware of Macduff, that no
man born of woman will harm him, and that he will not be vanquished until
Birnam Wood comes to Dunsinane Hill. In short time, Malcolm ordered that
each of his men cut off from Birnam Wood. Macbeth who has been relying on
the assurance of the witches tells his men to leave the castle and attack.

Macbeth attacks with desperate courage, Macbeth relied on the
assurance that no man born of woman would harm him. Macduff then replies
that he was "from his mother's womb untimely ripped,". Macbeth then
realizes that he was lied to. In act 5 scene 8 he notes about
equivocation, "juggling fiends no more believ'd, that palter with us in a
double sense". Macbeth was then killed.

Lies, are told by many people to