Charachter Analysis Banquo

1118 words - 4 pages

Throughout Shakespeare's Macbeth, Banquo is a foil to Macbeth. Banquo's logic and restraint contrasts Macbeth's erupting ambition and recklessness. Shakespeare created two opposite characters, Banquo and Macbeth who server to foil each other. A foil is someone or something that serves to contrast another; Banquo and Macbeth foil each other. Macbeth is eager, determined, and aggressive. Banquo is reserved, calm, rational and cautious.The play opens with Macbeth and Banquo returning from a battle with the Norwegians. They both receive very ambitious prophecies from the three witches. Banquo takes his prediction in half-jest and cautions Macbeth from placing too much faith in the witches. By the end of the play, Macbeth is convinced by the three weird witches and by his wife to fulfill the prophecies (that he will be thane of Glamis and king). Banquo and Macbeth react differently, Macbeth considers killing the king, and does, while Banquo calmly ignores such urges.Act I, scene two, sets the reckless and fast-paced mood for the rest of the play. a wounded captain tells King Duncan how Macbeth honorably killed Macdonwald and how he and Banquo later withstood an attack from the Norwegian King. Duncan sees Banquo and Macbeth as heroes and honorable soldiers. To reward "brave Macbeth"(act 1,sc.ii, 17) Duncan tells Ross to give the traitors former position ("Thane of Cawdor") to Macbeth. Macbeth and Banquo are both valiant soldiers and are nearly equals (their only difference is that Macbeth is credited with killing Macdonwald).Scene iii is crucial to the rest of the play and to Banquo's role as Macbeth's foil. In this scene, the three witches greet Macbeth and Banquo with predictions for each: Macbeth is referred to as the "Thane of Cawdor"(which Ross has not yet delivered), the "Thane of Glamis" (his present title) and, most notably, as "King hereafter" while Banquo is told that "thou shalt get kings, though thou be none"(act 1,sciii,68)(meaning that he will never be king but eventually father kings). After their meeting with the three witches, Macbeth and Banquo meet Ross and Angus who inform Macbeth of his new title as Thane of Cawdor. Macbeth and Banquo then discuss their predictions and Banquo again warns Macbeth to be wary of the witches: "But 'tis strange. And 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.¾ Cousins, a word, I pray you."(act 1,sc. iii, 134-139) This scene is fundamental for the rest of the play; the witches make predictions that set the stage and mood for the rest of the play.Macbeth also muses to himself the possibility of killing Duncan. Disturbed by his own wickedness, he resolves to let fate take its course: "If chance will have me king, why, chance may crown me without my stir."(act 1,sc.iii,157-160) The next notable occurrence of Banquo balancing Macbeth is in act two, scene one. Banquo tells Fleance that he is afraid to...

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