Character Profile: Banquo

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  • Banquo
    • loyalty
      • Banquo remains loyal to the king, and tells Macbeth he will not do anything sketchy in order to help him get the crown
        • 'it will make honour for you' 'so that I lose none'
      • once  Macbeth is king, even though he is highly suspicious of his means to obtain that title, Banquo is still loyal to his friend and king
        • 'Let your highness Command upon me, to the which to my duties'
    • happiness
      • Banquo, unlike Macbeth does not feel the need for power and control in order to be fulfilled in life,
        • although he will be 'lesser than Macbeth' he will be 'greater' and 'much happier'
      • both Macbeth and Banquo and told their destinies by the weird sisters, but Banquo doesn't obsess over his, and as a result he doesn't go insane like Macbeth does
        • 'thou shalt be king hereafter'
        • 'thou shalt get kings'
        • 'your children shall be kings'
        • 'you shall be king'
    • innocence
      • Shakespeare shows the audience the horrors that occur and that innocent people die when people become power obsessed and greedy. Banquo's murder ordered by his friend shows how problematic over-ambition is
        • 'Safe in a ditch he bides, With twenty trenchèd gashes on his head'
      • his murder also serves as a way for Shakespeare to present to the audience the problems with regicide, as the play would have been controversial due to murdering the king in a period of the 'Divine Right of Kings'
        • 'then comes my fit again. I had else been perfect'
      • Fleance escaping the murderers is a sign of hope for the future, that it won't be like it is under Macbeth's rule
        • 'Fleance is 'scaped'
      • his murder by Macbeth's hired murderers shows the end of innocence in the play under Macbeth's rule, and we see that as long as he is the king, there is no coming back from this evil
        • 'O, treachery!'
    • power
      • Banquo knows that as Macbeth's destiny has come true, so will his, and he holds ultimate power in being the father of the future kings
        • 'but that myself should be the root and father Of many kings'
    • suspicion
      • Banquo suspects that the witches are abnormal creatures, and that what they predict will cause problems on a large scale
        • 'the Earth hath bubbles, as the water has, And these are of them'
      • he doesn't doubt that Macbeth will do something wrong in order to 'fulfil his destiny'
        • 'instruments of darkness tell us truths to win us with honest trifles resulting in deepest consequence'
      • the first part of Macbeth's prophecy comes true almost immediately and so Banquo is concerned he will bring about the throne on his own accord
        • 'I dreamt last night of the weird sisters. To you they have showed some truth'
      • Macbeth obtains two titles at an abnormal pace, and Banquo fair in his assumptions that Macbeth has done something wrong in order to get this
        • 'I fear, Thou play'dst most foully for't'

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