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The theme of duplicity is, arguably, the most important theme in Macbeth becuase it can be argued that it is duplicitous actions that drive the plot forward.

This begins with the witches in Act 1: scene 1 when they chant "Fair is foul, and foul is fair", suggesting to the audience that certain elements of the play are not what they first appear to be. The witches also act duplicitously with Macbeth himself through their prophecies, making him feel invincible while leading him to commit murder and other terrible deeds that drive the plot forward.

When Macbeth is justifying his killing of Duncan's guards, he is showing his duplicitous nature to the audience. He suggests to Macduff and the other thanes that he revered Duncan, both as a man and as a king "his silver skin laced with his golden blood" and that he was so overcome with emotion at finding him dead that he didn't think before killing the guards, when in reality he was covering his tracks.

Other examples of duplicity in Macbeth, include Lady Macbeth acting as the perfect host to Duncan while simultaneously plotting his demise, Macbeth arranging to have Banquo murdered and Malcom pretending to be a coward in order to test Macduff's loyalty.

I hope this gives you some ideas, if you need anymore help then please don't hesitate to contact me.

Angharad.

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