According to the English Oxford Dictionary an optical illusion is: “something that deceives the eye by appearing to be other than it is”. The image I used as an example seems to be a painting of a mans head, however this is an illusion. The painting is not just a mans head. The big picture is a man and women on a prairie with two houses behind them. The women’s hat is the ear, the man is the nose, while the eyes are two houses in the background. Not everyone sees the head first like I did, some may see the man and women, but the point is people see what they want to see first. Big pictures can be hard to recognize when the brain is being tricked. This very much reminds me of Macbeth in Shakespeare’s famous play, The Tragedy of Macbeth. The true tragedy, in my opinion, is that, like this optical illusion, Macbeth was tricked into showing his true colors and he was not who he thought he was.
The illusion was guided by three witches, and the first encounter was simple. They approach Macbeth with confidence saying: “All hail, Macbeth! Hail to thee, thane of Cawdor!” Macbeth was not thane only thane of Glamis. Then the third witch says: “All hail, Macbeth, that shalt be king hereafter!” Macbeth and Banquo, who was with Macbeth, had so many questions, but the three witches vanished. Moments later messengers from the king arrived with this message:
And, for an earnest of a greater honor,He bade me, from him, call thee thane of Cawdor:In which addition, hail, most worthy thane,For it is thine.
I’ll catch it ere it come to ground.And that distilled by magic sleightsShall raise such artificial spritesAs by the strength of their illusionShall draw him on to his confusion
Be bloody, bold, and resolute. Laugh to scornThe power of man, for none of woman bornShall harm Macbeth.
It can be hard to see the big picture sometimes like when looking at an optical illusion. Macbeth only heard he would be king, but did not stop to see that big picture. The three witches never said he had to do anything to become king, he became Thane of Cowdor without killing people or taking action. He was told that no man born from a women’s womb could kill him, but heard no one could ever kill him. Macbeth only heard what he wanted to hear, his brain tricked him. He saw the head but did not step back to see the prairie.