victims of her malice. Macbeth was still alive, and left to bear the wrath of the community she helped destroy. The deviousness of the witches prophecies was becoming apparent. A force led by Malcolm and Macduff was approaching Dunsinane prepared for battle, but they were under the guise of hundreds of lumbered trees, from none other than Birnam Wood. Great Birnam Wood was coming to high Dunsinane Hill. By this time, Macbeth realized that there was no chance of an outcome without a war. He was sick at heart. He had finally reached the position that he had so wanted; yet it no longer was valuable to him. He had betrayed everybody, and his tyrannous rule gave him no satisfaction. The imminent battle would be the climax to a good life turned evil. Questioning the objective of life
itself – [Life> is a tale Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury Signifying nothing, he could see that his life had withered away. I have lived long enough. My way of life Is fall n into the sear, he conceded, I ll fight, till from my bones my flesh be hacked. I will not yield, To kiss the ground before young Malcolm s feet. Having little to lose, Macbeth, in the final display of his brilliant swordsmanship fought all who challenged. Young Siward, with all his resolution and black, ugly hate for Macbeth, was slain in his attempt, because he was, of course, of woman born. Macduff was the only man who could claim not to be so, and fought Macbeth in the ultimate battle, armed with a sword hardened by the souls of his slain family, and sharpened by the witches evil desires. Such
a combination was invincible, and Macbeth s life was over. The glory and celebration Macbeth so nearly destroyed the kingdom for, united it once more under the rightful crown of Malcolm, eldest son of Duncan. Thus, the instruments of darkness had played their horrific song to perfection. So many men, women and children lay murdered at the hands of their latest subject; whose misguided brain no longer had a body to perform its bloody operations. Banquo s warning had borne out in its entirety, Though left as just words, it was destined for vanity; It will echo forever, in the names of the perished, For when they lived, heard it Macbeth, King, of tragedy.
Act III. Scene I. - Forres. A Room in the Palace.
Macbeth: "Our fears in Banquo / Stick deep, and in his royalty of nature / Reigns that which would be fear'd: 'tis much he dares Whose being I do fear; and under him / My genius is rebuk'd, as it is said / Mark Antony's was by Caesar."
Banquo is fearful that the Three Witches' prophecies are coming true, questioning whether Macbeth played most foully for it, or killed King Duncan to make prophecy, fact. Meeting with Macbeth, Macbeth continuously asks Banquo of his travel plans and those of his son. Alone, Macbeth fears that Banquo's sons will mean his dynasty will be short-lived; only he will be King and not his sons who will be replaced by those of Banquo's lineage. Macbeth arranges for several murderers to discreetly kill Banquo and Fleance to ensure his sons and not Banquo's become future kings.
The scene begins with Banquo, alone, suspicious of Macbeth and the Three Witches' prophecy:
"Thou [you, Macbeth] hast [has] it now: King, Cawdor, Glamis, all, / As the weird women promis'd; and, I fear, / Thou [Macbeth] play'dst [played] most foully for't [for it];" (Line 1).
Banquo wonders about the prophecies made to him: "But that myself should be the root and father / Of many kings May they not be my oracles as well, / And set me up in hope? But, hush! no more" (Lines 5-10).
Macbeth invites Banquo to a feast at his castle and obliquely (indirectly) asks his plans for the evening. "Ride you this afternoon?" (Line 19) Macbeth ominously asks. Macbeth tells us that "our bloody cousins are bestow'd / In England and Ireland, not confessing / Their cruel parricide [murdering a father, King Duncan]," (Line 30). This is a reference to King Duncan's two sons being in hiding.
Macbeth asks again of Banquo's travel plans, specifically for his son: "Goes Fleance with you?" (Line 35). Macbeth is now alone with an Attendant. He asks of some men. We learn they are presently waiting outside the palace gate. "Bring them before us" Macbeth commands. (Line 47).
Macbeth now alone, reveals his innermost thoughts in another aside: "Our fears in Banquo / Stick deep, and in his royalty of nature / Reigns that which would be fear'd: 'tis much he dares. Whose being I do fear; and under him / My genius is rebuk'd, as it is said / Mark Antony's was by Caesar" (Lines 49-55).
Macbeth goes on to remark that the Three Witches have "plac'd a fruitless crown, / And put a barren sceptre" (Line 61) in Macbeth's possession. Without a line of kings following Macbeth's line, he fears that being King of Scotland is a farce and in Banquo, Macbeth sees the person stopping his own lineage of kings.
Macbeth is interrupted by the murderers whom he instructs to kill Banquo and son Fleance. He explains to them that their problems are the result of Banquo. Taunting them, he asks them if they are happy to let the source of their pain off so easily. They reply that they are "men," (Line 91).
Macbeth tells the men to do their deed covertly (secretly) to protect Macbeth's reputation. The scene ends with Macbeth resolute of his next murder: "It is concluded [decided]: Banquo, thy [your] soul's flight, If it find heaven, must find it out to-night" (Banquo, you will die tonight to find out if your soul will go to heaven or not tonight), (Line 141).
Act III. Scene II. - The Same. Another Room in the Palace.
Lady Macbeth and Macbeth speak in private. Macbeth is again plagued by a guilt we thought may have vanished: "We have scotch'd the snake, not kill'd it. " (Line 13). Lady Macbeth attempts to strengthen Macbeth's resolve.
Act III. Scene III. - The Same. A Park, with a Road leading to the Palace.
The Three Murderers kill Banquo but his son Fleance escapes and survives. The Three Witches' prophecy of Banquo's sons becoming kings has not been thwarted by Macbeth.
The Third Murderer joins the previous two we know of. When asked who sent him, the Third replies "Macbeth" (Line 2). The Second tells the Third not to distrust Macbeth, he delivers and can be trusted. The Third hears horses.
The Third Murderer adds Banquo's horses have stopped some way from the castle; it is common practice to walk to the castle itself. Banquo and Fleance approach the murderers by torch.
The Three Murderers set upon Banquo. Banquo cries "O, treachery! Fly, good Fleance, fly, fly, fly! " (O, treachery! Run Fleance, run, run, run!), (Line 17). Banquo dies, Fleance escapes. The Three Murderers notice this and decide to report "how much is done" (Line 21).
Act III. Scene IV. - The Same. A Room of State in the Palace.
"I am in blood / Stepp'd in so far, that, should I wade no more, / Returning were as tedious as go o'er."
Macbeth and a lady are entertaining at their castle. The First Murderer arrives, announcing that Banquo is dead but Fleance has lived. Macbeth immediately realizes the consequences of this (his descendants may not become kings). Macbeth sees Banquo's Ghost at his party, causing Lady Macbeth to finish their party early to prevent further suspicions about Macbeth's sanity and about their role in recent events (King Duncan's death whilst a guest at their castle). Macbeth makes his famous quote about being too covered in blood to stop.
A banquet is prepared attended by Macbeth, his lady, Ross, Lennox, Lords and some Attendants. Macbeth intends to play host: "Ourself will mingle with society / And play the humble host " (Line 4). Lady Macbeth echoes this sentiment: "Pronounce it for me, sir, to all our friends; / For my heart speaks they are welcome" (Line 7).
The First Murderer enters, informing Macbeth of the deed. He informs Macbeth that "Fleance is 'scaped " (Fleance escaped), (Line 20). Macbeth asks about Banquo to which the First Murderer replies that Banquo is safe: "Ay, my good lord; safe in a ditch he bides, / With twenty trenched gashes on his head; " (Line 24).
Macbeth is all too aware of the consequences of Fleance's escape: "There the grown serpent lies: the worm that's fled / Hath [has] nature that in time will venom breed," (Fleance the worm that escaped will in time breed a venom or line of kings Macbeth was hoping to prevent), (Line 29).
Macbeth whilst eating, is haunted by the Ghost of Banquo. Macbeth's talking to himself begins to unsettle Lady Macbeth. She fears Macbeth may say something suspicious and so she ends the feast early (Line 122).
Macbeth now reveals that he knows Macduff's movements; "I keep a servant fee'd" (Line 132) or has spies to keep him informed of his enemies. Macbeth, still shaken by Banquo's Ghost resolves to see the Three Witches or "the weird sisters:" tomorrow, since Macbeth is eager for reassurance and to know more of his destiny.
Macbeth now famously utters his expression that he has killed so many and is so covered in blood that he can now metaphorically speaking, no longer turn back and seek salvation:
I am in blood / Stepp'd in so far, that, should I wade no more, / Returning were as tedious as go o'er"
(Literal translation: I am in blood so deeply stepped that even if I waded or walked no more, returning would be as tedious or as time consuming and difficult as going over or returning), (Line 136).
Says Lady Macbeth, "You lack the season of all natures, sleep" (Line 141).
Act III. Scene V. - A Heath.
Hecate: "you all know security / Is mortals' chiefest enemy."
Hecate, clearly in a position of command over the Three Witches, scolds her subordinates for helping an unappreciative Macbeth. Hecate instructs the Three Witches to make preparations for her plan to use illusion and the Three Witches' prophecies against Macbeth. The Three Witches, eager to placate their master, eagerly make preparations, doing as they are told.
Again to the prelude of thunder we see the Three Witches. They meet with Hecate, which has been interpreted as the Lord of the Witches but whose exact relationship to the Three Witches is never made explicit. All that we do know is that the Three Witches fear and respect Hecate, doing as she instructs them.
Hecate is angry with her charges. They have meddled with Macbeth without her consultation. She mocks them for helping a man who "Loves for his own ends, not for you" (loves or cares only about himself, not the Three Witches), (Line 13).
Hecate tells the Three Witches too "make amends now:" telling them to leave and meet her "at the pit of Acheron", the name for Hell's river the next morning (Lines 12-16).
By the end of the scene Hecate gains the Three Witches' support for her plan. Her plan is to use illusion to "draw him [Macbeth] on to his confusion:" (Line 29).
Macbeth will then "spurn [ignore] fate, scorn death, and bear / His hopes 'bove [above] wisdom, grace, and fear; / And you all know security / Is mortals' chiefest enemy" (ignore fate, mock or scorn death, become arrogant, take his own opinions above wisdom, grace and fear and you all know that complacency or false security is a person's worst enemy), (Line 30).
The scene ends with the First Witch suggesting haste with their preparations. After all Hecate will "soon be back again" (Line 37).
Act III. Scene VI. - Forres. A Room in the Palace.
We see Lennox and a Lord discuss affairs in their kingdom. Lennox points out that all those who have sided with Macbeth, namely the late King Duncan, "the right-valiant Banquo" (Line 5) have paid dearly for this decision. Lennox slyly suggests that Fleance may be responsible for Banquo's death since he fled afterwards but we quickly realize this is Lennox's way of finding out the Lord's allegiances.
Lennox discusses how terrible it was that Donalbain and Malcolm killed their father King Duncan. Macbeth certainly did grieve. He adds that should Fleance, Donalbain and Malcolm be captured that they would certainly suffer but now Lennox realizing just how dangerous his skeptical words of Macbeth are, changes the subject by asking of Macduff.
We learn from the Lord who now makes his disgust of Macbeth quite clear that an army is being formed in England to fight Macbeth. "The son of Duncan" Malcolm is now at the English court and has been well received by the "most pious Edward" (Line 27). We finally learn that Macbeth knows this and is preparing for possible war. Macduff may be in great danger.
Most importantly they encounter the withches and their prophecies. Banquo is promised a part of the prophicies, but his reaction to the witches is different to Macbeths. " Banquo is puzzeled by how Macbeth reacts "Good Sir, why do you start and seem to fear things that do sound so fair. He tells Macbeth "I dreamt last night of the three weird sisters" However Banquo openly admits his temptations whereas Macbeth pretends not to think of them "i think not of them" If theres a weakness in Banquos character it might be his failure to act. We never found out because Macbeth bec.2. Prophecy of Macbeth
The Prophecy of MacbethThe prophecy in the play Macbeth by William Shakespeare gets the plot going immediately as it starts. The quote does not even need an analysis; the riddle-like tune to it informs the reader that something peculiar will happen.In the third scene of Act 1, Macbeth and Banquo meet with the witches and they greet him with three titles, Thane of Glamis, Thane of Cawdor, and King. When Duncan was assassinated and Macbeth was named king the first part of the prophecy was fulfilled. But, the prophecy is fulfilled. Birnan Wood is moved by the soldiers coming to at.3. Macbeth and Banquo
Macbeth and Banquo encounter three witches on a blasted heath. Both get three prophetic suggestions.Shocked at the sight of these wizened creatures Banquo asks them, "Live you. Banquo can see Macbeth"s fear in reaction to the prophecies and diverts the witch"s attention and challenges them "Speak then to me.aE The witches prophesy that he will not be king, but, his heir"s will be kings.As the witches disappear, both Banquo and Macbeth speculate that the witches were illusory, "bubblesaE of the earth, questioning themselves, "have we eaten on the insane root.aE Although Ba.4. MACBETH
Macbeth Macbeth is a Scottish general and the thane of Glamis who is led to wicked thoughts by the prophecies of the three witches, especially after their prophecy that he will be made thane of Cawdor comes true. In addition to embodying Macbeth"s guilt for killing Banquo, the ghost also reminds Macbeth that he did not emulate Banquo"s reaction to the witches" prophecy.Act 3 Scenes 1In the royal palace at Forrest, Banquo paces and thinks about the coronation of Macbeth and the prophecies of the weird sisters. If the first prophecy came true, Banquo thinks, feeling the stirring of ambit.5. Macbeth's Character through the witches, Banquo and Macduff
Macbeth"s deep-seated desire to become King is shown in his eagerness to hear more prophecies. For example, even though Banquo is also present when the witches give the prophecies to Macbeth, and Banquo himself about his sons as kings, he does not yield to temptation, and stays true to the King. The goodness of Banquo even scares Macbeth. He is afraid that Banquo, being the only one (except Lady Macbeth) who knows about the prophecies and could link all these events together and figure out that Macbeth is the one who murdered King Duncan, and come after him because Banquo is so loyal.6. Macbeth plot summary
There are four important characters in the play Macbeth, Macbeth himself, Kind Duncan of Scotland, Ms Macbeth (Macbeths Wife) and Banquo who is Macbeths comrade. Macbeth and Banquo are generals of Scotland who just defeated a revolt against King Duncan. Later on Duncan orders the death of Thane of Cawdor and Macbeth starts to believe he can force the witches prophecy. But Macbeths is afraid of Banquos sons, they were after all rule as kings some day. So Macbeth orders the death of Banquo.7. Macbeth
English Formal Written Commentary Macbeth (Act III, Scene 2, Lines 4 aE" 35) This extract taken from Shakespeare"s play Macbeth expresses the emotions of the protagonist Macbeth and his wife Lady Macbeth as Macbeth prepares to murder Banquo. The situation surrounding the characters shows how all three prophecies hailed by the witches have come true for Macbeth aE" his titles of Thane of Glamis, Thane of Cawdor and now the King of Scotland. Banquo"s strong suspicions of Macbeth"s foul play have almost forced Macbeth to take the extreme step of hiring murderers to end Banquo"s life. Macb.8. Macbethâs Character changes
In the beginning of the play Macbeth is a strong soldier who fights for the King without mercy but his strive for ambition and his curious nature leads him to the witches who give him a prophecy. Banquo realises that there must be a trick hidden in the witches prophecies somewhere but Macbeth refuses to accept that, and when Lady Macbeth finds out about the witches her strong desire for ambition and her cold nature leads Macbeth astray. Macbeth is also very superstitious and this is shown when he believes the prophecy the witches told himthat Banquo"s offspring would become Kings.Macbeth.9. Relationships In Macbeth
She is the one that convinces Macbeth to murder Duncan so that the witches prophecy will be fulfilled faster. Banquo is with Macbeth when Macbeth meets the witches the first time. He feels that it is too risky to leave Banquo alive, both because he knows about the prophecies and he is meant to have a line of descendants that will be king after Macbeth. In the end, he turns his back on Banquo and has him killed.These relationships show that Macbeth forgets about his friends and loved ones become less important to him as he gets more caught up with the prophecies of the witches. At t.10. macbeth
Macbeth is startled when he hears this prophecy. Macbeth sent a letter to Lady Macbeth outlining the witches' prophecy. Banquo thinks suspicion about Macbeth. Banquo was much more naive than Macbeth. Macbeth did not kill Banquo himself for a number of reasons.11. Banqup
Banquo wants his prophecies to come true, but he lets nature take its course. Unfortunately, Macbeth kills Banquo before Banquo"s prophecy comes true. In addition to this reason, Macbeth deemed it appropriate to eliminate Banquo in order to eliminate any evidence existing, as it was Banquo who was present with Macbeth when he received this prophecy. In conclusion, Banquo serves as a foil to Macbeth, showing an alternate reaction to the prophecy. In addition to embodying Macbeth's guilt for killing Banquo, the ghost also reminds Macbeth that he did not emulate Banquo's.12. Macbeth Essay
Macbeth is first lured by the witches at the beginning of the play, with their prophecy, "All hail, Macbeth. The witches also set up suspicion between Macbeth and Banquo by proclaiming that Banquo "shalt get kings, though thou be noneaE, which eventually leads to the murder of Banquo by Macbeth"s instruction, in an attempt to destroy any possibility of Banquo"s sons becoming king. However, all her planning falls apart when Banquo"s ghost appears, and Macbeth publicly displays his chaotic mind. On first hearing the witches" prophecies, he immediately thinks of murder, "Whose h.13. MacBeth
He is presented with the ambition by the witches" prophecy. His thoughts are compared to Banquo's, whose morality, it seems, will not let himself turn to evil. Without this supernatural prophecy, the thought of killing the king would have never crossed MacBeth"s mind. He feels the need to kill Banquo in order to keep the secret of Duncan"s murder (III,i). Through his own ambitions, the ambitions of his wife, and the prophecies of the witches, MacBeth has caused his own destruction and downfall.14. How does the character of Banquo contribute to William Shake
Later Macbeth becomes fearful of Banquo because he stands as a witness to the witches" prophecies and it has been foreseen that his descendants will become the future Kings of Scotland while Macbeth was promised only to become King. Banquo"s ghost returns to haunt Macbeth and marks the beginning to Macbeth"s end. It enables us to see how a noble character would react to the prophecies as apposed to how Macbeth acts. Banquo accepts God"s order and although he is tempted by the witches" prophecies he is too honest to play foul to ensure they come true, he relies on his better judgemen.15. Macbeth - Discuss the influence of the witchesâprophecies on
All they do is greet Macbeth as the Thane of Glamis, as the Thane of Cawdor, and as the future king.These are merely greetings, and because Macbeth does not know that he is either the Thane of Cawdor or the king, Macbeth, Banquo, and the audience take the greetings as prophecies. But a prophecy is not an invitation to murder. But that is exactly how Macbeth takes the prophecies. Banquo, just after Macbeth has been told of his creation as Thane of Cawdor and just before Macbeth calls the prophecies "supernatural soliciting," warns Macbeth that often "The instruments of darkness tell us.16. Macbeth
Returning from battle with companion Banquo, the nobleman Macbeth meets three witches. After the first part of the witches" prophecy comes true, he begins to think the second part may also come true. In addition, the witches had also predicted that Banquo"s descendants would be kings of Scotland. Macbeth therefore orders the murder of Banquo and his son, Fleance. Macbeth"s men killed Banquo, but Fleance escapes.17. Macbeth and the Decline to Insanity
However, when Macbeth comes upon three witches who give him a prophecy that predicts his future ruling over Scotland, Macbeth's dark thoughts and ambitions replaces his moral character. The witches' prophecy influences Macbeth to betray the people around him and commit crimes that would have never been committed by a sane man. Macbeth keeps thinking of Banquo's prophecy and how Banquo's descendants will become the next rulers of Scotland. Feeling threatened, Macbeth decides to send murderers to kill Banquo and his son Fleance. After Macbeth receives news that Banquo.18. Macbeth's Free Will
In Macbeth, the witches prophecies seem to negate Macbeth"s free will. Later on in the play, Banquo and Fleance become suspicious of Macbeth. So Macbeth hires men to murder both Banquo and Fleance. Banquo is killed, but Fleance is able to escape. Once Banquo is out of the way, Macbeth finds out that Macduff has gone to England to find Malcolm.19. Macbeth act II
MacBeth Act III. The act opens late at night with Banquo talking to his son Fleance. They run into MacBeth. Both Banquo and MacBeth say that they cannot sleep, and Banqou wants to talk to MacBeth later about the prophecies. Both Banquo and MacBeth cannot sleep, and Duncan is killed in his sleep.20. Macbeth
The witches make Macbeth depend on their prophecies to live out his desires. The witches make Macbeth depend on their prophecies to live out his desires. He holds onto these prophecies until the very end, until his own death.Macbeth"s visions reveal his anxieties toward his murderous deeds. When he hires two assassins to kill Banquo, he does not expect the ramifications of this deed. At diner that night Banquo"s ghost appears to Macbeth twice.21. Fate of Macbeth
Hate, Hate, So Full of Hate, Our Friend Macbeth will Meet with FateThe Three Sisters in the Tragedy of Macbeth bring upon the use of prophecy, circumstantially bringing with it, the use of fate. As one may notice, Macbeth ensured his own prophecy by killing the previous king, Duncan. If one solely believes in the ideals of fate, they may see that this may have been Macbeth"s only choice, and perhaps the choice was never his: he may have been acting upon what was already planned, therefore the situation was out of his control.Upon reaching that conclusion, Macbeth"s attempt to disrega.22. Downfall of a Hero - Macbeth
First, brave and loyal Macbeth storms through the battle with Banquo defeating Sweno, in an insane fight for which his, "brandished steel, which smoked with bloody execution.". This shows what kind of influence the prophecies have on Macbeth. The downfall of Macbeth begins with the prophecies and ends with the lives he took. Macbeth becomes so obsessed with the prophecies that when Banquo asks if he's thinking about them, Macbeth lies and try's to hide his guilt. " I think not of them.". This shows that the prophecies changed Macbeth from the noble warrior; to the lire he i.23. Macbeth
William Shakespeare's shortest and bloodiest tragedy, Macbeth, is the telling of a righteous Scottish general who becomes a malevolent, power hungry man after the prophecies of a trio witches inform him he will become king of Scotland. After a successful battle against the Irish militia, Macbeth and his companion Banquo are confronted by three witches. For it is thine.aE After realizing that the prophecies are true, Macbeth cannot come to a decision of whether to murder King Duncan and become the king of Scotland without hesitation, or to leave things as they are. Macbet.24. Super Natural Elements of Macbeth
Shakespeare"s Macbeth is a play that holds many supernatural elements, such as the three witches, the levitating dagger, and the Ghost of Banquo. They arrange to meet with Macbeth so they can put thoughts of murder into his head by chanting strange prophecies. Macbeth is deeply frightened by the witches and their prophecies and eventually starts to believe them and thinks that the only choice he has is to follow what they say for the prophecies will all come true somehow no matter what happens. The witches are important to the play because though not literally, they are the o.
Macbeth and Banquo are two of the finest characters that emerge in the play ‘Macbeth’. This can be considered as one of the greatest works of William Shakespeare. Through the play, Shakespeare portrays the image of a man who succumbs to darkness. The characters of Macbeth and Banquo function as two very different or else contrasting characters. The key difference that we notice between Macbeth and Banquo is that while Macbeth succumbs to darkness as he embraces the prophetic greetings of the three witches. Banquo clearly rejects this emerging as an emblem of light .Who is Macbeth?
Macbeth is a general of King Duncan’s army. He encounters the three witches on his way from the battlefield, where the witches tempt him with prophetic greetings saying Thane of Glamis, Thane of Cawdor and as the future king. Macbeth is stunned by these greetings due to his ambitious nature. After King Duncan promotes Macbeth as the Thane of Cawdor murderous thoughts, enter into Macbeth’s mind. With the assistance of his wife the Lady Macbeth, he becomes king after murdering King Duncan.
Although Macbeth becomes king, he is often tormented by his thought or murder and suspicions. Since Macbeth lives in fear of Banquo, he plans to murder Banquo and his son so that the prophetic greetings of Banquo would not come true. Even after the murder of Banquo, Macbeth is tormented by the future that he goes to the witches again. The witches warn him of Macduff but create a false sense of security in Macbeth with their prophecies that no man born of a woman can harm him. In the later part of the play, we see both Macbeth and Lady Macbeth suffering due to all the evil plans that they implemented. It is not only these two characters, but even the country seems to perish at the hands of an evil ruler. However at the end of the play, it is Macduff, who kills Macbeth and saves the land from the evil hands of Macbeth.
Who is Banquo?
Banquo is a general of King Duncan’s army who bravely fights with Macbeth on the battlefield. After the encounter with the three witches, Banquo clearly rejects the prophetic greetings of the witches though the witches prophesied that Banquo will father a line of kings although he fails to be one.
Due to Macbeth’s fear of Banquo that he will suspect him of the murder of King Duncan, Macbeth arranges Banquo and his son Fleance to be murdered. As a result, of this attempt, Banquo dies but Fleance runs away. Even after the death of Banquo, Macbeth has hallucinations of Banquo appearing in front of him as a ghost. Throughout the play, Banquo acts as the contrast to Macbeth’s evilness as he is guided by light.
Macbeth’s and Banquo’s first encounter with the witchesWhat is the difference between Macbeth and Banquo? Characters:
Macbeth is a general of King Duncan’s army.
Banquo is also a general of King Duncan’s army.Impact of the Witches:
Macbeth succumbs to darkness as he embraces the prophetic greetings of the witches.
Banquo instantaneously rejects the prophecies.Light and Darkness:
Macbeth is associated with darkness.
Banquo is associated with light.
2. “MacbethAndBanquo-Witches ” by Théodore Chassériau – Musée d’Orsay. [Public Domain] via Commons
Macbeth: The Witches Prophecies Essay, Research Paper
The Effect of the Witches Prophecies
William Shakespeare s tragedy MacBeth is an unfortunate one. Although MacBeth does take the actions that lead to his downfall, he is not fully responsible for his behavior. After coming in contact with three witches who foretell the future for him, he wants to believe them since everything they told him is good on his part. It is said that the witches were just figments of his imagination. In either case, the prophecies told act as a vehicle to plant ambition in him which lead him to be greedy with his new found happiness, lie to all those he trusts, and eventually to multiple murders.
Although the first and second prophecies that the witches foretell come true, they only turn MacBeth greedy. After MacBeth becomes Thane of Cawdor, MacBeth is amazed with the predictions made so far. Look how our partner s rapt. From having the first divination come true, MacBeth imagines the possibility of the other predictions to come true, but he is skeptical at first:
MACBETH: (Aside) This supernatural soliciting
Cannot be ill, cannot be good; if ill,
Why hath it given me earnest of success,
Commencing in a truth? I am Thane of Cawdor:
If good, why do I yield to the that suggestion
Whose horrid image doth unfix my hair
And make my seated heart knock at my ribs,
Against the use of nature? (1.3.130-137)
MacBeth, now with ambition, is determined to make these prophecies come true for him. With the thought of being King of Scotland, the only thing in his head, he knows now that the prophecies could only be good. However, as said in the beginning of the play, Fair is foul, and foul is fair:/ Hover through the fog and filthy air. Things that may appear harmless and pure may be destructive and tainted. MacBeth is one example. He was too full o the milk of human kindness that he would never have let anything make him become what he is now. After hearing the first set of predictions, he goes to see the witches in Act 4, Scene 1, to ask for their more predictions and advice. After a first warning, MacBeth! MacBeth! MacBeth! Beware MacDuff / Beware the Thane of Fife. MacBeth is greedy and demands more. The second apparition reassures him that for none of woman born/ Shall harm MacBeth. This contradicts the first apparition but MacBeth comforts himself with the idea of MacDuff not being able to kill him. Then the witches tell him MacBeth shall never vanquished be until/ Great Birnam Wood to high Dunsinane Hill/ Shall come against him. The witches seem to be guiding him by presenting him with all this advice but what he doesn t see is the effect it s having on him. He has been spoiled and now he tells his fears to be false since he shouldn t have any. The Witches have made him believe that all their predictions are true and they will help him whenever he needs it.
The Witches Prophecies also lead him to lie to the ones who are loyal to him. Before being killed by MacBeth, Duncan, the King of Scotland, had built an absolute trust with him. After he is murdered, Lady MacBeth and MacBeth lie to everyone by expressing that they know nothing about the murder of Duncan. To refrain from him being blamed for the murder, MacBeth creates a plan to have the king s guards be blamed for the murder:
MACBETH: For ruin s wasteful entrance: There, the murderers
Steep d in the colours of their trade, their daggers
Unmannerly breech d with gore. (2.3.115-117)
MacBeth is keen to be king that he risks his life and his wife. After the murder, Banquo remembers what MacBeth said early, My dull brain was wrought/ with things forgotton. MacBeth makes a lying excuse that he was thinking about something so pointless that he has forgoton what it was. But in the beginning it was only a though, he has let his thoughts run wild and cause him to lie.
Eventually, after lying only come more bad things such as murder: the deadliest sin. After hearing the last prophecy about Banquos sons becoming Kings, it is the only thing he must take care of to get his way. He plans to take care of this the way he took care of Duncan. Just like then, to become king is to murder who s in your way:
MACBETH: They hailed him father to a line of kings
Upon my head they placed a fruitless crown
And put a barren scepter in my gripe
Thence to be wrenched with an unlineal hand,
No son of mine succeeding. (3.1.64-68)
MacBeth plots to kill Banquo and Fleance for the sake of the prophecy not to come true but he stingly believes that it would have. MacBeth has let the prophecies become him by giving into the witches through murder.
It now seems that if MacBeth had not tried to fulfill the witch s prophecies, he would probably have been living as the Thane of Glamis and Cawdor at the end of the play. It could be said that he was responsible for his own downfall. However, as proved, MacBeth only took these actions to fulfill the prophecies of the witches by giving into the greed, the lying, and the murder that came with it.
The first witch predicts that Banquo shall be "lesser than Macbeth, andgreater ". This first prediction is common of the doublespeak used by the witches. Their words ring like a paradox, an equivocation. but close analysis of events later in the play proves the truth of their prediction. Macbeth becomes king and therefore Banquo becomes his subject - he is "lesser" than Macbeth. Banquo, however, retains his integrity and the respect of all who know him, unlike Macbeth who, through his tyranny and ruthless blood-thirst, loses the support and respect of those who were once close to him. They turn against him. Even though Banquo dies, his memory is that of a noble and loyal gentleman, whereas Macbeth is despised and seen as the canker destroying Scotland. In this sense, then, Banquo is "greater" than Macbeth.
The second witch says that Banquo would be "not so happy, yet much happier". Once again, paradox is used. Banquo would obviously not be happy for the death of his king (Duncan) saddens him later, whilst for Macbeth it brings the crown. Macbeth feels no remorse. Secondly Macbeth has Banquo assassinated, so Banquo is therefore once again, "not so happy ".
What does make Banquo "much happier" or more fortunate than Macbeth is the fact that in death, he is at peace whilst Macbeth cannot sleep. He becomes steeped in blood and is paranoid, suspecting practically all those around him. He is haunted by the murders of Duncan and Banquo and can therefore not enjoy a peaceful rest. He suffers relentless torment, is constantly on his guard and is overwrought. Furthermore, Banquo had the confidence that his heirs would rule whilst Macbeth would leave behind a barren throne.
The third witch's prediction "Thou wilt get kings, though thou be none " affirms the fact that although Banquo would not be a king himself, his heirs would. His issue would become either be rulers themselves or would be the progenitors of future kings.
like 1dislike 0
Lesser than Macbeth, and greater.
Not so happy, yet much happier.
Thou shalt get kings, though thou be none.
So all hail, Macbeth and Banquo!
These are the prophecies the witches make to Banquo: he'll be less than Macbeth but greater (which ends up meaning that he'll be less powerful politically but morally greater!) not as happy (in terms of wealth) but ultimately happier, and the father of kings though he shall never be king himself.
Interestingly - Fleance, Macbeth's son is never crowned at the end of the play; it's usually assumed that Shakespeare is referring to James I, on the throne when Macbeth was written, who descended frmo Banquo.
like 1dislike 0
Lesser than Macbeth, and greater.
Not so happy, yet much happier.
Thou shalt get kings, though thou be none:
So all hail, Macbeth and Banquo!
Banquo and Macbeth, all hail!
Sounds pretty good, right? Macbeth will one day be king, and Banquo never will, but in a sense Banquo gets even better news: he will one day be the patriarch of a whole line of kings. Macbeth gets to rule, but Banquo will found a whole royal dynasty. That probably means his son Fleance will one day be king, and though Banquo might be disappointed that he won't rule himself, what better consolation could there be than to one day see your son on the throne?
Of course, these two bits of good news in Act 1 lead to four successive acts of chaos and murder. Macbeth soon realizes that the prophecy must mean that Banquo's son will overthrow him, and he soon turns against his best friend and begins to plot Banquo and Fleance's murder. Which is only the beginning.
An interesting side note: many people wonder what happened to Fleance, as he is not actually the character crowned at the end of the play. But the king of England and Scotland when the play first opened was James I, and he was believed to be a direct descendant of the historical Banquo and Fleance. So though the play doesn't state it explicitly, Shakespeare's first audience would have understood that at some point in time, the prophecy to Banquo came true.
like 0dislike 0
The prophecy is that His sons will be kings but he will never be king
like 0dislike 0
We’ve answered 331,749 questions. We can answer yours, too.Can’t find the answer you're looking for? Popular Questions Macbeth
eNotes.com is a resource used daily by thousands of students, teachers, professors and researchers. We invite you to become a part of our community.Recommended Other Useful Stuff