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Explain in your own words exactly how Macbeth and Banquo react to their prophecies.Remember that their reactions change throughtout Act 1 Scene 3.You should provide short quotations to support what you say.

Extracts from this essay...

Introduction

Explain in your own words exactly how Macbeth and Banquo react to their prophecies. Remember that their reactions change throughtout Act 1 Scene 3. You should provide short quotations to support what you say. In Act 1 Scene 3, the three witches foresee the future for Macbeth and Banquo. They prophesise Macbeth will be Thane of Cawdor and King of Scotland. Macbeth is awestruck by these three strange creatures predicting his future titles. This could be because he had previously thought of being king, and the witches had told him what he wanted to hear - that it would soon become reality. Banquo asks Macbeth why he is afraid of these inhuman creatures if they are telling him things that sound so just and equitable, "Good sir, why do you start and seem to fear/Things that do sound so fair?" (Act 1 Sc3, Lines:49-50) By this we can see Banquo is happy for Macbeth's future, but soon turns self-centred and asks the witches if they are imaginary or are the prophesies perhaps imaginary, "Are ye fantastical, or that indeed/Which outwardly ye show?"

Middle

As soon as the witches foresee Banquo's future, Macbeth tries to argue how his predictions could be true. He is confused and curious how the witches know such things and why they feel it is necessary to tell him. He argues that the Thane of Cawdor is alive and well and that there is no possibility of him ever becoming king, "Stands not within the prospect of belief" (Act 1 Sc3, Line:72) Macbeth demands the witches answer his questions, but they refuse, and vanish without trace. Macbeth is disappointed the witches did not stay as he was becoming very intrigued and wanted to know more,which is a change of attitude from the beginning. Banquo, although not doubting the witches at first, seems jealous now and questions whether the witches really existed or not so Macbeth will decide the whole thing never happened, "Would they had stayed. Were such things here as we do speak about?" (Act 1 Sc3, Lines:80-81) Banquo even suggests the pair might have eaten hemlock, henbane or deadly nightshade, which turns the consumer mad when eaten,"Or have we eaten on the insane root?"

Conclusion

Banquo feels they can't be trusted and calls the witches, "instruments of darkness." (Act 1 Sc3,Line:123) Macbeth then shares a deep thought with the audience, questioning if Banquo is right. The thought of being king has always been in Macbeth's mind, and now the witches have told him it is his destiny, he wonders if he will have to do something in order for it to become a reality. He decides the only way he will become king is if King Duncan dies and his sons are dead. He doesn't know what to do with all the information he has been given, but he says he doesn't want to kill Duncan, "Present fears/Are less than horrible imaginings." (Act 1 Sc3,Lines:136-137) After thinking his options through, Macbeth decides that he will leave it to chance and if he is meant to be king, he will, without doing something to ensure it, "If chance will have me king, why chance my crown me/Without my stir." (Act1 Sc3,Lines:142-143) Macbeth then asks Banquo to think about the predictions and everything that has happened and talk later. Perhaps by then, they will understand it more. Banquo agrees and they both depart. By Beckiy Webber 11-4

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