The Mask of Innocence in Macbeth and Fences

The Mask of Innocence Macbeth, by William Shakespeare, produces a ‘new’ Macbeth toward the middle of the book. Macbeth, in his violent and bloody killing spree, ends up killing people ranging from the king, Duncan to his best friend, Banquo, and many others. While doing so, Macbeth, in order not to be suspicious must wear a ‘mask.’ To hid the real, guilty Macbeth and show an innocent, grieving man, who luckily becomes king through all the blood shed of good people.

“There is nothing that gives more assurance than a mask.”

Collette said this in 1966. And it proves itself to be true in Macbeth. As it does in Fences, by August Wilson, there is also another ‘mask’ that is formed to make someone think that you are innocent but you are really the dirty serpent underneath. In Fences, Troy, a father with 1 son and and faithful wife, uses a mask to make himself to become unsuseptable to suspicion. Troy ends up cheating on his wife with a woman neighbor.

When Troy comes home he feels that he must cover up the guilt and start acting extra sweet to his loving wife.

The same mask is applied to both Macbeth and Fences. They are both used to cover up guilty consciences and obvious points that are going to come out now that the deed has been done. The mask will assure Macbeth and Troy that they will not be caught, because they are hiding the real them, the guilty them. And when you take away the guilty side all you have left is the innocent side.

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And the innocent siding will influence other peoples thoughts and views on them and brainwash them into believing they are not guilty. This will assure Troy and Macbeth that no one will see beyond the mask. This quote by Collette, is in my mind absolutely true. It may not be the correct thing to do but it will get the job done and make everyone believe that everything is normal. Except when the woman neighbor starts “showing” and the king starts seeing ghosts. One single, straight-faced, man or woman can become anything they want to be if they act it. If they make the acting seem like its real. And that will give the assurance that know one will know the truth, the real you.

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The Mask of Innocence in Macbeth and Fences. (2022, May 09). Retrieved from

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