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Examine the part played by Banquo in the play and comment on his character

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I think That Banquos part in the play is to contrast Macbeths character and decisions. Banquos loyal, honourable and heroic character matches that of Macbeths at the beginning of the play but as Macbeth changes into the evil, over ambitious "Butcher" later on in the play, Banquo remains an honourable and loyal soldier. This highlights the change in Macbeths character stage by stage because Banquo can be used as a comparison and can be looked back upon to compare Macbeths original character to his present one showing how much he has changed. Banquo has a lack of ambition through out the play, He appears to be content with his status and willingly accepts his level in the "natural order" . When Macbeth and Banquo meet the witches, Banquo seems suspicious of the witches. Unlike Macbeth he has no hidden ambitions. Banquo has no intension of perusing the prediction that his sons will be kings and is happy to discard the witches comments. He says "oftentimes to win us to our harm the instruments of darkness tell us truths, win us with honest trifles, to betray's in deepest consequence" This shows Banquos understanding of the witches, he will happily discard what the witches have said because he knows that the truths they tell can be a means of trickery. ...read more.


Banquo is also loyal to Macbeth. Even though he suspects foul play on his behalf he says that he will stand by Macbeth whatever happens. This is used to make Macbeth look more evil because his lack of loyalty is highlighted by Banquos strong loyalty to the king and Macbeth. It clearly shows the difference in there character and shows genuine loyalty on Banquos behalf. Banquos conscience, integrity and loyalty all reflect his good character and preservation of the "natural order" People in Shakespeare's time believed that every person and thing had a natural place, decided by God. Macbeths main crime is in upsetting this natural order. He murders people so that they die before there time eventually throwing the political stability of Scotland into chaos. However Banquo willingly accepts the natural order and is happy with his position in it. He has no intension of trying to change it to benefit himself and stays loyal thus upholding the natural order. Throughout the play Banquo appears to be very na�ve and Gullible. It takes some time for him to realise that Macbeth has been dwelling on the prophecies and is considering murder to make them come true. He is fooled by the atmosphere in Macbeths castle, as is Duncan, he says "By this love manisonry, that heavens breath smells wooingly here:" and "I have observed the air is delicate" Banquo is also fooled by Macbeths 'false face'. ...read more.


Banquos and Macbeths thoughts and actions differ in every way showing the audience what they should be like and what they can become if they are not careful, Banquo plays an important part in Macbeth. His Character is used to highlight the corruptness and immorality of Macbeths character as he changes from good to evil . Banquo is a Brave, loyal and honourable nobleman who willingly accepts his position in the natural order. His 'Squeaky clean' image and integrity emphasize Macbeths inner evil and his over ambitious disposition making Macbeth look even worse when his thoughts and actions are put side by side with Banquos. Banquo always peruses the right road, his lack of ambition and naivety contrast Macbeths personality in every way. This means that the decisions they make will also differ explaining the different routs they take after hearing the witches apparitions. Banquos character enables the audience to begin to uncover Macbeths true character early on in the play, and goes on to highlight his evilness. This makes the play more Dramatic and tragic that Macbeth was once the person that Banquo was. His actions and change of character show the audience what over ambition can do to a person and the consequences of trying to overrule the natural order. Banquo is an example of the kind of person everyone should aim to be but warns people to open their eyes to the world and see people for what they really are. He is a moral touchstone. ...read more.

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