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What do you think is Banquo(TM)s function in the play? What advice would you give to an actor playing the role?

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What do you think is Banquo's function in the play? What advice would you give to an actor playing the role? At the start of the play Banquo and Macbeth have a close bond and show few differences in character, status and value; as they are both heroes, brave and much valued by King Duncan. Their differences start to show when the witches give them their prophecies. Macbeth feels kingship is within reach and acts upon the prophecy; however Banquo feels that he does not need to act, because if id does happen, it will happen without his help. The main function therefore is to show contrast with Macbeth. Therefore Banquo shows a good path when temped with a similar prophecy to Macbeth. When Banquo first sees the witches he is amazed by how ugly they are and then starts to insult them: 'What are these, ... That look not like th'inhabitance o'th'earth And yet are on't' (Act 1 Scene 3 Line 38) He says this like it's a private conversation to Macbeth. It seems to be a reaction to the witches because he changes subject midline: 'How far is it to Forres? ...read more.


Contrast would need to be shown through out the play the in personalities of Banquo and Macbeth. Banquo could do this by seem very down to earth and seeming like he is choosing his words carefully and slowly. In act 1 scene 4, Shakespeare uses this moment to emphasise Banquo's qualities; for example King Duncan says: 'Noble Banquo' (Act 1 Scene 4 Line 29) This is because both Banquo and Macbeth fought in a battle, showing a large amount of skill. In this scene Banquo has very few lines whereas Macbeth does. The actor playing Banquo would need to show absolute loyalty to Duncan. Macbeth on the other hand; as an aside when he hears Malcolm has been made Prince of Cumberland, showing more interest in himself. In act 2 scene 1 Banquo is thinking about the disturbing thoughts of the witches: 'cursed thoughts' (Act 2 Scene 1 Line 8) I think that he is paranoid of something happening to him, but he doesn't like thinking about it because he is trying to reassure himself. However Macbeth is more disturbed in terms of how to bring the prophecies about. ...read more.


Macbeth wants Banquo's advice but Banquo doesn't wish to have long conversations with Macbeth: 'As far, my lord, as will fill up the time' (Act 3 Scene 1 Line 25) Banquo is not giving any definitive answers of where he is going, this makes sure that Macbeth doesn't talk to him. Macbeth knows that Macbeth knows he is honourable: 'Our fears in Banquo Stick deep, and in his royalty of nature Reigns that would be fear'd. 'tis much he dares, And to that dauntless temper of his mind He hath a wisdom that doth guide his valour' (Act 3 Scene 1 Line 50) Macbeth knows that Banquo is not just a honourable warrior but he is wise enough to know what to say and how to say it, he is also showing fear of what Banquo may say to the others. Banquo is a character that plays an important role. He is the counter part to Macbeth, not just showing contrast but maybe helping Macbeth feel sane because when Banquo dies Macbeths life seems to go very down hill. In general Banquo needs to show commitment to Duncan and especially after Duncan is dead; to show fear of Macbeth. Calum Rankine - 1 - ...read more.

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