Macbeth: Betrayal - Yr10SSCEnglishMsBurgess

By Bec and Mikki
 1. to deliver or expose to an enemy by treachery or disloyalty: to betray one’s
 2. to be unfaithful in guarding, maintaining, or fulfilling: to betray a trust.
 3. to disappoint the hopes or expectations of; be disloyal to: to betray one's
 4. to reveal or disclose in violation of confidence: to betray a secret.
 5. to reveal unconsciously (something one would preferably conceal): Her
nervousness betrays her insecurity.
One of the many themes in Shakespeare’s Macbeth is Betrayal. The
play begins with the Betrayal of the Thane of Cawdor and continues
onto Macbeth’s betrayal of Duncan and Banquo. The witches betrayal
of Macbeth and more subtle betrayals such as Macbeths betrayal of
his own nature and Lady Macbeths betrayal of her gender.
The first act of betrayal in the play is that of the Thane of Cawdor
betraying Duncan, during this act Macbeth also begins to think of killing
Duncan. Lady Macbeth also betrays her feminine nature by asking the evil
spirits to “unsex” her and “fill her from the crown to the toe top-full of
the direst cruelty”. Macbeth agrees to kill Duncan and in doing so not
only betrays his king, his vows as a thane and Scotland but also betrays his
own nature “It is to full o’ the milk of human kindness”.
In this Act Macbeth and his wife turn words to action and kill
Duncan in his sleep. This is not only treason (the highest form of
betrayal) but is also a betrayal of their duties of care. As hosts they
were responsible for Duncan’s safety and for him to die under their
roof would reflect badly upon them.
In this Act Macbeth kills Banquo and attempts to kill his son
Fleance. Macbeth betrays his friend because he believes that Banquos
sons will be kings and not his own “To be thus is nothing; But to be
safely thus.”.
In this Act Macbeth returns to the witches seeking more answers. It
is now that the witches betray him just as Banquo said they
would“But tis strange and often times, to win us to our harm, The
instruments of darkness tell us truths, Win us with honest trifles, to
betray’s In deepest consequence.”. In this scene Macbeth further
betrays his nature by murdering Macduff ’s family. In this Act it also
becomes more apparent that Macbeth is betraying his people by
becoming a tyrant and thinking of nothing but his own obsession
with power.
Lady Macbeth unwittingly betrays herself and her husband in her
sleep “she has spoken what she should not”. In this act it also
becomes clear that although the witches told Macbeth the truth they
spoke to deliberately mislead him into a false sense of invincibility ,
which ultimately lead him to his doom.
Betrayal is a universal theme because it is dealt with in all its forms all
over the world. Who can truly say that at one point in their life they
have never felt betrayed inn the slightest? It is a theme that we can all
relate to in some form.
Many of shakespeare’s works are now well known classics world wide
because they touch on timeless themes that can be appreciated by all
cultures and generations. Such as Love, Betrayal, Greed, Justice and
Shakespeare uses:
Alliteration - Fair is foul and foul is fair
Imagery- Doubtful it stood as two spent swimmers, that do cling
together and choke their art.
Metaphor- As sparrows eagles, or the hare the lion.

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