English Literature - Macbeth - Banquo - Quotes


Act 1, Scene 2 - Macbeth is a hero

  • "As sparrows, eagles, or the hare, the lion" - Captain
  • "as cannons overcharged with double cracks" - Captain
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Act 1, Scene 3 - Macbeth meets the witches

  • "What are these, so withered and so wild in their attire, that look not like th'inhabitants o'th'earth, and yet are on't? Live you? Or are you that which man may question?", "are ye fantastical, or indeed which outwardly ye show?" "Were such things here as we do speak about? Or have we eaten on the insane root, that takes the reason prisoner?"- Banquo - Banquo is very cautious of the witches and does not trust them.
  • "Good sir", "My noble partner" - Banquo - Banquo is loyal to Macbeth.
  • "To me you speak not. If you can look into the seeds of time and say which grain will grow and which will not, speak then to me who neither beg nor fear your favours nor your hate." - Banquo - Banquo is also ambitious yet remains loyal to the king regardless.
  • "What, can the devil speak true?" - Banquo - Banquo suspects the witches are of the devil, hellish and evil.
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Act 1, Scene 3 - Macbeth meets the witches

  • "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." - Banquo - Banquo is suspicious that the witches will tell Macbeth twisted truths to manipulate him and eventually betray him.
  • "New honours come upon him like our strange garments, cleave not to their mould but with the aid of use." - Banquo - Banquo covers for Macbeth. - He is a loyal friend. - (This contrasts with Macbeth's betrayal of him in Act 3, Scene 1, in which he tells the murderers that Banquo is responsible for ruining their lives - "Know that it was he, in the times past, which held you so under fortune, which you thought had been our innocent self." and "Both of you know Banquo was your enemy" - Macbeth claims that he was innocent and it was Banquo who foced them to live in poverty and thus, he deserves to be killed.)
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Act 1, Scene 4 - Duncan thanks Macbeth

  • "Noble Banquo, that has no less deserved, nor must be known no less to have done so, let me enfold thee and hold thee to my heart." - Duncan  - Banquo deserves no less that Macbeth.
  • "There if I grow, the harvest is your own." - Banquo - Banquo accredits Duncan for his own victories. - He is loyal to Duncan.
  • "True, worthy Banquo" - Duncan
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Act 2, Scene 1 - Macbeth sees the dagger

  • "Merciful powers, restrain in me the cursèd thoughts that nature gives way to in repose!" - Banquo - The witches have cause Banquo to have nightmares. - He calls on "merciful powers" to end them, contrasting with Macbeth and Lady Macbeth referring to evil spirits - ("Come, you spirits" - Lady Macbeth - Act 1, Scene 5) + ("night's black agents" - Macbeth - (black agents = predators) - Act 3, Scene 2).
  • "So I lose none in seeking to augment it, but still keep my bosom franchised and allegiance clear, I shall be counselled." - Banquo - Banquo says he shall do whatever Macbeth requests, so long as he may keep a clear conscience and remain loyal to the king.
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Act 2, Scene 3 - Duncan's body is discovered

  • "Dear Duff, I prithee contradict thyself and say it is not so." - Banquo - The death of Duncan is too much for Banquo to take in. He pleads for Macduff to say it is all a lie. - Shows him as loyal and good-hearted.
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Act 3, Scene 1 - Macbeth plots Banquo's murder

  • "Thou hast it now - King, Cawdor, Glamis, all" - Banquo - "all" makes it sound as though he has recieved nothing and resents Macbeth for it. - Macbeth's titles are also said in reverse order as to when they were aquired. This may suggest that Banquo feels Macbeth has lost everything (e.g. his morals) in becoming king.
  • "I fear, thou play'dst most foully for't" - Banquo - He is suspicious that Macbeth murdered Duncan.
  • "Yet it was said it should not stand in thy prosperity, but that myself should be the root and father of many kings." - Banquo - Banquo is ambitious and hopeful that his descendants will succeed Macbeth and that he shall not remain king. - (stand in thy prosperity = stay in your family)
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Act 3, Scene 1 - Macbeth plots Banquo's murder

  • "Why, by the verities on thee made good, may they not be my oracles as well, and set me up in hope? But hush! No more." - Banquo - Banquo is also very ambitious and hopes his prophecies will also come to fruition yet he isn't corrupted by his ambition and stops himself before he speaks treacherous desires.
  • "Let your highness command upon me, to the which my duties are with a most indissoluble tie for ever knit." - Banquo - Banquo remains loyal to Macbeth and at his leisure, despite his suspicions. - (indissoluble = unbreakable)
  • "Our fears in Banquo stick deep, and in his royalty of nature reigns that which would be feared." - Macbeth - Macbeth is afraid of Banquo's nobility to the previous king (Duncan).
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Act 3, Scene 1 - Macbeth plots Banquo's murder

  • "'Tis much he dares, and, to that dauntless temper of his mind, he hath a wisdom that doth guide his valor to act in safety." - Macbeth - (Translation - He’s willing to take risks, and his mind never stops working. He has the wisdom to act bravely but also safely.)
  • "There is none but he whose being I do fear; and under him my genius is rebuked" - Macbeth - (Translation - I’m not afraid of anyone but him. Around him, my guardian angel is scorned)
  • "So is he mine; and in such bloody distance, that every minute of his being thrusts against my near'st of life" - Macbeth - (Translation - He’s my enemy too, and I hate him so much that every minute he’s alive it eats away at my heart.)
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Act 3, Scene 3 - Banquo is murdered

  • "Fly, good Fleance, fly, fly, fly!" - Banquo - He tries to protect Fleance, telling him to run away.
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Act 3, Scene 4 - Banquo's ghost appears

  • "the grown serpent" - Macbeth
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