The Appearance of Fairness

Starting with the witches' assertion that âfair is foul, and foul is fair,â? it is clear that Macbeth is a play in which appearances will be deceiving and morality will be muddled. From the dialogue between King Duncan, Malcolm, and the wounded sergeant in Scene 2, it would appear that Macbeth is the most âfairâ? of all of the figures mentioned, while Macdonwald the Thane of Cawdor, who betrayed the Scots, is most âfoul.â? This can be inferred mainly from the sergeantâs conversation with Duncan in Scene 2, in which he describes Macbethâs valor in combat against the âmercilessâ? Macdonwald. The wounded sergeant describes Macbeth as âbrave,â? and then tells the king that âwell he deserves that name.â? King Duncan echoes the sergeant's admiration with his reply: âo valiant cousin! Worthy gentleman!â? In the next few lines, the sergeant describes Macbethâs unrelenting assault on the enemy, and compares the magnitude of his slaughter to âanother Golgotha,â? which is the place where Christ was crucified. On the other hand, Macdonwald is spoken of with disgust, and since the reader is given only the Scotsâ point of view, we share in their disdain. According to the wounded sergeant, Macdonwald is âworthy to be a rebel,â? which...

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