In the opening scene, the witches portray evil and supernatural, and say the line “fair is foul, and foul is foul is fair.” This line means The-Nature-of-Evil-in-Macbeththat whatever is considered foul to the normal man is considered fair to the witches and vice versa.

It is from the first scene, where the prophecies were introduced, that we see the nature of evil. Evil made Macbeth the most violent character in the play, killing many characters. The prophecy that revealed he would be king was the first thought Macbeth had to kill.

Lady Macbeth’s first encounter with the nature of evil is when she was reading Macbeth’s letter – she summons evil spirits and persuades Macbeth to kill King Duncan.

It is at this point where we see some of Macbeth’s conscience and it starts to override his ambition, however, Lady Macbeth still convinces him.

The witches are portrayed throughout the play as ominous representations of the demon throughout the play, and talk about their evil intentions,

Later in the novel, Macbeth mirrors the words that the witches said in the first scene ‘So foul and fair a day I have not seen.’ This means that his thoughts are becoming evil and corrupted, just like the witches.

When Macbeth sees the dagger, it shows us as the audience that he is starting to recognize evil, yet his ambition is still leading him to kill Duncan. Regicide = evil.

When Macbeth has murdered Duncan, he says: “O horror, horror! Tongue nor hart cannot conceive nor name the” (How true the nature of evil is so ruthless and corrupt that a deed so inconceivable could be committed!)

Appearance versus Reality in Macbeth
Cite this article as: Schoolworkhelper Editorial Team, "The Nature of Evil in Macbeth," in SchoolWorkHelper, 2019,

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