A review on the play Macbeth, written by William Shakespeare that describes the interactions between Macbeth and Banquo.
Fate is set and should never be altered or hurried. The play, Macbeth, uses this theme to show how Macbeth’s own tragic flaw leads to his own demise. Two hard-working soldiers, Macbeth and Banquo had just defeated the Irish rebels and the Norwegian army. Both men were on their way to return home when they encountered three witches. They give each man three prophecies of how their life will be lived. Macbeth handles his given fate poorly, and Banquo is more cautious and careful about his fates. In the play, Macbeth, written by William Shakespeare, the foil character, Banquo, reveals the flaws of Macbeth by leaving his fate set and never altering it.
Macbeth and Banquo are surprised and suspicious when their fates are given to them by the three weird sisters. Macbeth was told one position that he currently held and that he would become the Thane of Cawdor and eventually king. When he is told by Ross that he is going to be named Thane of Cawdor, Macbeth believes everything the witches said. He thinks that he will become the king and rule all of Scotland. He became greedy and wanted the crown. Banquo was a little more hesitant and believed he and Macbeth had “eaten on the insane root” (Shakespeare 196) when the witches when told him his prophecies: Banquo wouldn’t be as great or as happy as Macbeth, but greater and happier. Both men were surprised when Banquo learns his final prophecy that his “children shall be kings” (Shakespeare 196), but he himself would never be one. This was a given fate that would be pondered more by Macbeth than Banquo himself. Macbeth became excited and seemed to jump to conclusions that he would become king and everything would be perfect. Banquo has a more cautious reaction to the prophecies that shows he is a more cautious and realistic character.
Banquo becomes the major foil to Macbeth when he lets the prophecies be and Macbeth tries to alter them. Banquo thoughts of the prophecies are “cursed thoughts” (Shakespeare 208). He didn’t want anything to do with the three weird sisters. He believes the weird sisters could be leaving out some details that could really affect their lives. Macbeth, on the other hand, was intrigued by these weird sisters despite telling otherwise to Banquo. When Banquo said he had a dream of them, Macbeth replies by saying “I think not of them (Shakespeare 208), but it was all he thought about. Macbeth wants to know how he will become king and when. Two of the prophecies had turned out to be true. Macbeth then becomes greedy and tries to hurry fate. He kills Duncan believing that he will become king and everyone will love him. But he does this out of ambition, not because the prophecies said he would. Banquo becomes suspicious of Macbeth and fears “Thou play’dst most foully for ‘t” (Shakespeare 219). Macbeth’s tragic flaw of greed leads him to corrupt the prophecies. Macbeth’s trying to rush his fate is a huge mistake and is really brought forth by the contrast of Banquo and how Banquo lets his prophecies be.
The difference of Banquo and Macbeth is that Banquo leaves his fate set and Macbeth tries to alter his. Macbeth alters it by hurrying his fate and trying to do something about the crown. Macbeth not only kills Duncan, but he kills Banquo as well. Now that he has the power, Macbeth is willing to kill. After killing Banquo, Macbeth’s guilt builds greatly. At the dinner when Macbeth sees Banquo’s ghost, his reaction is surprised and afraid. He says to the ghost “Thou canst not say I did it” (Shakespeare 227). Macbeth’s guilt built up so much, he started to see hallucinations. Banquo’s prophecies had come true: he dies greater and happier than Macbeth. Macbeth wishes he was dead so he didn’t have to live with the great burden of guilt he has put on himself. By killing Banquo, Macbeth builds more trouble and guilt for himself.
Banquo shows exactly why fate should be set and never altered. By leaving his fate alone, Banquo’s foil to Macbeth reveals Macbeth’s flaws. Banquo’s son Fleance will eventually become king and more of his children are set to follow. Banquo is rewarded for leaving his fate by living a greater and happier life than Macbeth. Macbeth tried to make his fate happen, but fate will only find its way on its own.