After seeing a picture of a delicious McDonald’s Big Mac, he just could not contain that deep groan that originated from his stomach. He quickly grabs his keys and wallet, driving straight away to McDonalds, and ordered himself a delicious Big Mac. Once he received his paper bag, giving off a smothering smell, he hungrily grabbed his Big Mac, but as he opened the box he became depressed. Why? Because McDonalds had fooled him, that picture of their delicious Big Mac was not what sat in front of him. Instead, there sat a three pieces of bread, and what appeared to be two brownish, green beef patties in-between the bread.
What this young man had to sadly go through was appearance vs. reality; while the picture of the Big Mac looked big and tasty, the actual Big Mac he got was disgusting. The theme, appearance vs. reality, can be characterized numerous times in the play “Macbeth” by William Shakespeare. Initially, “Macbeth” tells the story about the great warrior Macbeth, and his downfall. In “Macbeth” the theme, appearance vs. reality, is signified by many characters in the play, but the four characters, Macbeth, Lady Macbeth, Malcolm, and Donalbain, define this theme most.
The main character, Macbeth, is one major example. In the beginning of the story Macbeth is seen as a brave warrior loyal to his king, Duncan. This is shown when Sergeant comes running in to tell Duncan about the battle. Sergeant says, “For brave Macbeth-well he deserves that name -/ Disdaining fortune, with his brandished steel, / Which smoked with bloody execution,/ Like valor’s minion carved out his passage/ Till he faced the slave” (Shakespeare 1:2 16-20). This shows how brave Macbeth was, but it also shows how ruthless Macbeth can be.
Once, Macbeth learns that he will be king in the future, he kills Duncan to become king, and anyone else that would get in his way. This is shown when, after Macbeth has killed Duncan and Banquo, he finds out he also needs to kill Macduff to keep the crown. Macbeth says, “Then live, Macduff; what need I fear of the thee? / But yet I’ll make assurance double sure, / And take a bond of fate. Thou shalt not live;/ That I may tell pale-hearted fear it lies, / And sleep in spite of thunder” (Shakespeare 4:1 80-85).
This shows that in beginning readers see Macbeth as this warrior for Scotland, but by the end, he is making sure that anyone in Scotland who may be a threat is killed. Lady Macbeth is another example that shows the theme appearance vs. reality. In front of guests and King Duncan, she is very polite and nice, but when she is by herself or with Macbeth, she has no soul.
This is shown when she says, “Come, you spirits / That tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here, / And fill me from the crown to the toe top-full / Of direst cruelty! (Shakespeare 1:5 36-38). Basically she wants the Gods to make her a man so she can murder Duncan and take the crown, and this one of the very many examples to show how crazy she is. After Duncan is killed, right away people think that his two sons, Malcolm and Donalbain, murdered him when really it was Macbeth. This is shown when Macduff says, “They were suborned: / Malcolm and Donalbain, the king’s two sons, / Are stolen away and fled; which puts upon them / Suspicion of the deed” (Shakespeare 2:4 24-27).
This shows that because the two sons fled, people assume right away that they killed their father, even though the readers know that it is Macbeth and his woman. Macbeth, Lady Macbeth, Malcolm, and Donalbain, all appear different than what they truly are, and they are not the only ones that prove this. In addition to the play “Macbeth”, the theme appearance vs. reality can also be seen throughout this world. The most common people to see this theme is by looking at the serial killers Jeffrey Dahmer, John Wayne Gacy, and Andrew Cunanan.
Jeffrey Dahmer is known for killing 17 men, but before he would kill his victims he would also molest them (“Jeffrey’). Dahmer was able to get away with so many kills because no one suspected him. Dahmer would meet the men at gay meetings and then lure them with money or sex, he would drug them by putting it in their drink (“Jeffrey”). He lived in an apartment by the poorer part of town, where he did all his sexual, and other rituals to men and their corpses; his neighbors in the apartments around him never suspected a thing (“Jeffrey’).
This shows that Dahmer made himself appear gay to find his victims also, when he killed his victims in his apartment no one ever questioned him or called the police on him. John Wayne Gacy is known for killing thirty-three young men, and most were found buried underneath his house (“John”). Gacy was well-liked in his community, he often was a clown at kids’ parties, and he was also married with children (“John”). This shows that Gacy appeared to be your typical family man. Gacy lured his victims by promising work, or through the community things he helped out in (“John”).
So even though Gacy looked the part as a normal middle age man, he actually sexually assaulted, and killed 33 young men. Andrew Cunanan is known for killing 5 men, and his last victim being fashion designer Gianni Versace (“Andrew”). “On the surface, the highly intelligent Cunanan reveled in his life as a young, attractive gay male” (“Andrew”). This shows that Cunanan seemed to live a nice life, and was also wealthy. Cunanan though had a darker side, he was addicted to drugs and sex, and after his former boyfriend left him, he started his killing spree (“Andrew”).
This shows that even though Cunanan lived the life, he was actually not living the life becoming a killer. These three serial killers are one of the many examples in the real world that show the theme appearance vs. reality. The theme appearance vs. reality can be established throughout the play “Macbeth”. In the beginning of “Macbeth it even says, “Fair is foul, and foul is fair” (Shakespeare 1:1 10). This means that some things are not always what they seem. Just like the example of the appearance of a Big Mac vs. the reality Big Mac, the realization of what it truly is, is a disappointment.