Fair is Foul and Foul Is Fair (Essay/Paper Sample)

Fair is Foul and Foul Is Fair (Macbeth)

In the play Macbeth, authored by William Shakespeare, the main actor Macbeth presents the picture and actions of a humble and loyal servant to King Duncan. Macbeth carries out all of his duties diligently and with dedication. He earns the trust of not only the king but the other servants as well. However, when Macbeth eventually betrays the trust that King Duncan had in him by killing the king and taking the throne, the discrepancy that exists between appearance and reality comes to light. It is on the basis of this discrepancy that Shakespeare coined the phrase “fair is foul and foul is fair.”

An individual who seems nice on the outside might essentially, be the most vicious person, just like a fair, beautiful lady might actually have the worst of manners. On the other hand, an individual whose facial appearance inspires fear might, in fact, be caring and friendly. Only time and chance can prove the difference between appearance and reality. In the world, one can never rely on the appearance of someone or something to gauge behaviors, mannerisms, competencies, capabilities, the past, or future. In other words, you can hardly judge a book by its cover. Appearance and reality are as different as day and night, and they can be as distant as the earth and the sky. Politics often give us an opportunity to interpret the difference between reality and appearance. A politician can look truthful and present well-choreographed campaign policies, but the moment he is elected and gets into office, his true self is revealed when he fails to deliver on his promises.

In life, one can meet a beautiful, charming, and intelligent partner and date them for many months or years without really knowing who that partner really is. It is common for a charming, female FBI agent to suddenly become the girlfriend to a wanted criminal and then date that criminal for a couple of weeks without the latter realizing that he is being trailed. The moment the FBI lady has gathered data and evidence adequate to apprehend the criminal, she signals an awaiting SWAT team and the criminal is apprehended. It is only at such times when one’s eyes seem to open up and realize that he was living a dream.

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Girlfriends and boyfriends, wives and husbands, brothers and sisters, classmates, workmates, and neighbors never know one another as people tend to hide their true identity. A person who seems so friendly and nice might be the most dreadful, indifferent individual in a group. Simply hiding one’s feelings and desires might be easy until the time when one can no longer hide such emotions. That is the time when reality sets in and appearance vanishes. For instance, it is often said that many depressed people are usually loquacious and they never allow other people to notice what is actually happening in their lives. Such people paint the image of happy individuals but behind the screen, they are suffering. A person’s smile or frown must never be taken for what it is.

Some situations in people’s lives compel them to behave in ways contrary to expectations. Thousands of people often fake their own death and others deliberately set up calculated fires and accident scenes, while others feign workplace injuries in order to claim unjustifiable compensation from insurance companies. A one million dollar jackpot winner with cancer might seem happy and excited immediately when the good news reaches him. During that moment, the truth of his impending death will seem like a distant, non-existent fact. One minute later, he remembers that he is soon dying of cancer and he is devastated. Melancholy takes over his personality and he becomes devastated.

Ultimately, people act just the way it is portrayed in movies. The truth and reality about someone are only known by that particular human being. In life, most people’s characters and actions are simply acts put up to fit situations. Even the justice system, including police investigations and the court system, cannot prove whether one is actually guilty or innocent. Appearance is not reality and fair is often foul, and vice versa.

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