'Your hand, your tongue: look like the innocent flower, but be the serpent under't.' (Shakespeare 1.5. 64-66) Throughout Shakespeare's Macbeth, things are not always as they seem. Deception in this play is always present, especially with the main characters - Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. Lady Macbeth is the most skilled at persuading others, especially her husband, into believe things that are not true. The above quote, spoken by Lady Macbeth to her husband, shows exactly how manipulative and deceiving she can be. She is telling Macbeth to look and act pure, but to be evil inside. Macbeth, evidently led by his wife, but also by his own ambitions, is likewise guilty of deception. He deceives his best friend Banquo, King Duncan, as well as his public. Lady Macbeth and Macbeth also try to use denial and rationalization to deceive themselves. This self-deception leads to grave circumstances for them both.
Macbeth is forced into further and further lies, making life difficult and unbearable. Lady Macbeth is also caught in the depths of deception and eventually kills herself. Therefore, it is obvious that the main characters of Shakespeare's Macbeth are all negatively affected by the recurring theme of deception.
Throughout the play, Lady Macbeth uses her ability to mislead others in many ways. First of all, she decides to use deception to push her husband's ambition to be king.
...Hie thee hither, that I may pour my spirits in thine ear, and chastise with the valour of my tongue all that impedes thee from the golden round...(1.5.25-28)
Lady Macbeth believes that, to be successful in his ambitions, Macbeth must rise above his goodness and accept her evil ways. She knows that the process of making her husband believe what she wants may not be easy. Lady Macbeth has to be cunning,