Banquo's Betrayal In Macbeth

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Betrayal is a ghastly act that often ruins relationships permanently. It tears the two parties apart and builds a wall between each other. Betrayal is, unfortunately, not a hard concept to understand in William Shakespeare’s Tragedy of Macbeth. Macbeth and Banquo’s relationship was long and emotional, for they were best friends and war comrades. This only makes the betrayal of Macbeth even more unforgivable, knowing that he only did so for himself. Macbeth’s disinterest in Banquo’s murder displays his loss of humanity, and his absence of morality makes it clear that he no longer cares for his closest friend. Banquo’s murder is deplorable as Macbeth’s sociopathic behavior demonstrates his utter lack of empathy. After going to war and trusting…show more content…
One of Macbeth’s many soliloquies explains his fear of Banquo’s sons becoming king. Fearing so much for his crown, Macbeth calls upon three poor men in need and manipulates them for his own wants. The men being convinced by Macbeth manipulative words “That it was he, in the times past, which held you;/So under fortune” kill Banquo (Shakespeare 87). Macbeth use of the lowest of society, the poorest of the poor, when he has access to all the people of the Kingdom is a horrendous but intelligent move all done to keep himself safe. His intelligence helps him stay unknown to those close to him because Macbeth is afraid of being blamed for Banquo’s death. He is even willing to go as far as “let the frame of things disjoint, both the worlds suffer,/Ere [I] will eat [my] meal in fear, and sleep” (Shakespeare 93). Macbeth is willing to let his kingdom, along with the rest of the world, be destroyed for the sake of himself. He is so focused on himself that he cannot see those around him starting to doubt. Lady Macbeth fears for his sanity while Macbeth’s thanes are no longer loyal to him. Macbeth shows no worry towards his unloyal thanes though, only focusing on what he can do to continue holding onto the crown. Through deception and desperation, Macbeth convinces men to murder Banquo so he could remain…show more content…
After the three murderers killed Banquo, they go to recount the news to Macbeth. Showing no reaction to the news of his former comrade’s death, Macbeth only thinks of himself: “Then comes my fit again. I had else been perfect” (Shakespeare 99). Macbeth, asking if Fleance is dead, is only tormented after hearing that Fleance escaped and remains a threat to his crown. Macbeth’s quick transition of concern from Banquo to Fleance exhibits his disregard to the people close to him, a distinct behavior often tied to sociopathic people. Macbeth’s calm and collected attitude after the news of Banquo’s murder is unnerving and frightening, especially after seeing how affected he had been at the murder of King Duncan. When killing King Duncan, Macbeth was thoughtless and anxious, but when planned the murder of Banquo Macbeth was cool minded and collected. Macbeth was once a trustworthy man, but now is a disrespectful and violent king. Furthermore, after Banquo’s murder, his body is shown no respect as “Safe in a ditch he bides,/With twenty trenchèd gashes on his head” (Shakespeare 101). Banquo’s violent death and Macbeth’s reaction of indifference towards Banquo murder displays how far he’s fallen into the

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