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Banquo's Influence On Macbeth

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As tragic as Macbeth becomes through the play, his paranoia is also a factor that leads to his ultimate downfall, morally and physically. Macbeth, now a traitor after the assassination of the king, is paranoid of anybody who may threaten his position or how he attained it. After killing the king, Macbeth’s conscience is guilt-ridden and he is no longer able to sleep peacefully. His only worry is that someone may be plotting his murder, just as he strategized the death of the former King. If there was nothing stopping Macbeth from killing Duncan and committing treason, who is to say that no one else will make the same decision, killing Macbeth? After becoming king, his first suspect is Banquo, because Banquo voices his scepticism in regards…show more content…
Where Banquo can sense evil, Macbeth cannot. Banquo refers to the witches as he says, “What, can the devil speak true?” (I. iii. 107). The devil is a symbol of evil, and the fact that Banquo uses such language to describe the witches further proves his lack of faith in the witches. Banquo’s mention of the devil should warn Macbeth of the lies they create, but Macbeth ignores his friend’s advice. Banquo notices Macbeth in a daze after hearing of his rise to power. Intrigued at how Macbeth is in such a state, Banquo asks the witches that if they can truly “…look into the seeds of time,” to speak to him as well. He says to them, “Speak then to me, who neither beg nor fear, / Your favours nor your hate,” (I. iii. 60-61). The distinction is apparent between Banquo and Macbeth, because unlike Macbeth, Banquo is cautious of what the witches have to say, though Macbeth simply commands to hear more. Furthermore, Banquo neither fears nor begs for the predictions the witches may have, whereas Macbeth’s concern is evident during this encounter, as well as when the witches bring about the apparitions to him. Macbeth acts in relation to the prophecies; killing to fulfill the prophecy, or eliminating threats to his throne. Banquo neither fears nor begs for the predictions the witches have in store for him, displaying his cautious attitude in regards of the deceiving sisters. Banquo’s lack of belief is evident once more as he says to Macbeth, “Were such things here, as we do speak about? / Or have we eaten on the insane root / That takes the reason prisoner.” (I. iii. 83-84). Despite the fact that Banquo has spoken to the witches himself, watching them vanish into thin air further encourages his doubt. He considers the fact that he and Macbeth may have consumed poison or drugs that abolish any reasonable thoughts, therefore bringing about
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