How the Character of Macbeth Changes Between Act I Scene iii, and Act III Scene I
Shakespeare uses many different methods to show that Macbeth changes
greatly between Act I Scene iii and Act III Scene i, these include his
use of language in speeches and directional action. Banquo's reaction
in Act I Scene iii shows that Macbeth is initially afraid of the
prophecy. Macbeth's own speech indicates that he is unsure of the
truth in what he has been told, but is both intrigued and excited by
the thought of becoming king, however, he is confused by his inner
thoughts of murder and deceit. His speech in Act I Scene iii shows
that he is still loyal to Banquo. However, by Act III Scene i his
irrational speech betrays his paranoia. His action in employing the
murderers shows his desperation to remain king, combined with his
speech exposes his deceitful nature. Macbeth's guilty and frail mental
state is revealed through his speeches to the audience.
In Act I Scene iii, Macbeth initially appears to be afraid of the
witches' prophecy. This can be deduced from Banquos' question upon
seeing his friend Macbeth's reaction to the prophecy. He asks Macbeth,
"Why do you start and seem to fear, things that do sound so fair?" The
word 'start' suggests that Macbeth has jumped in fright and
bewilderment. The phrase 'seem to fear,' shows us that Macbeths'
expression betrays the fact that he is shocked and in awe of what the
witches have said.
In Act I, Scene iii, Macbeth is still acting friendly to Banquo, even
though he is starting to perceive him as a threat. This is shown by
the two quotes, "My thought, whose murder yet is but fantastical,"
and, "'till then, come friends." The words, 'My thoughts,' and, 'yet
is but fantastical,' indicate that he is thinking about murder, but as
yet does not know why and that he is deciding...