Banquo's Foil In Macbeth

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In William Shakespeare’s tragedy, Macbeth, characters are designed to compliment one another; whether it be to show a character’s weaknesses or strengths more efficiently. Referred to as a character foil, multiple characters throughout this tragedy contrast from Macbeth, and it is through their actions, that one is further able to analyze Macbeth’s traits and characteristics. Throughout the play, Macbeth’s main concern is gaining power and becoming influential. A character who serves as Macbeth’s foil is Banquo, because of the contrasting way he approaches a situation that foretells who will become rule in the near future. By Banquo being included in the tragedy, Macbeth, one is able to analyze his reaction to the news, and learn how Macbeth’s…show more content…
It truly reveals the lack of morals that he has, compared to Banquo. Being that Banquo was predicted to be father of kings (his sons), while Macbeth will be a king himself, one would think that Banquo would be the one complaining, since he is the only one not serving as a king. However, he is satisfied that, at least, his legacy through his three sons will live on. This reveals that he is humble and fair spirit. Macbeth does not want any competition. His capricious and malicious acts prove how naive and vile he is as a person. Macbeth even attempts to kill Banquo to prevent any trace of his nature from making him, a “fruitless crown.” Macbeth states, “Must lave or honors in the flattering streams, and make our face vizards to our heart, disguising who we are,”(3.2.45). With such desperation, Macbeth is willing to include other people in his premeditated murder. By having Lady Macbeth be part of his plot to kill Banquo, Macbeth reveals two things about himself: That he does not value those around him, even if they are his loved ones, and that he places his personal success over all aspects of his life. He attempts to be deceitful to Banquo, revealing a fraudulence of Macbeth’s character. Shakespeare also includes this to apply to the real world, itself; that we should be skeptical of those around us, no matter how jovial those around us might…show more content…
He reveals that he is not strong minded and is easily influenced by those around him. It is through Banquo that one can actually identify Macbeth with these traits. If it were not for Banquo’s calm and responsible reaction to the foretelling, it would be difficult to hold Macbeth on a basis on the appropriate way to respond to the situation. Banquo is not after sole success, and still considers himself successful even with his sons being heirs to the kingdom. With this genuine appreciation, we are able to view Macbeth as a greedy and irrational character. By Macbeth wanting to take the easy road of not having any competitor's, his moral compass is questioned. By including Banquo in Macbeth, Shakespeare makes it possible for Macbeth’s flaws to be illustrated. It is from these flaws, that one can understand his interaction with those around
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