Banquo's Ghost appearing at the banquet is a graphic manifestation of the guilt that Macbeth feels. Since, Lady Macbeth needs to make excuses for Macbeth’s interaction with the ghost of Banquo means that the ghost is only visible in Macbeth’s eyes. During Macbeth’s coronation banquet, Lady Macbeth pulls Macbeth asides and asks him the reason behind his inappropriate behavior. Macbeth becomes angry because Lady Macbeth robustly accuses him of lying. When Lady Macbeth calls Macbeth a liar he replies, “If I stand here, I was him”(3.4.89). Trying to convince Lady Macbeth of what he saw, Macbeth has to prove to himself that he witnessed Banquo interrupt the feast. Baquo’s ghost is a figment of Macbeth’s guilt. Macbeth tries to convince himself that he sees a ghost and is not going mad. After realizing he is truly the only one seeing Banquo’s ghost Macbeth comes to the conclusion that “This [seeing Banquo’s ghost] is more strange / Than such a murder is”(3.4.98-99). Fear cuts deeper than a sword. Similar to his earlier epiphany, Macbeth accepts the fact that Banquo is dead on Macbeth’s account. When Macbeth returns to the table he proposes a toast that, “I drink to th’ general joy o’ th’ whole table / And to our dear friend Banquo, whom we miss”(3.4.108-109). Now, in a stage of acceptance, Macbeth is able to tame the million thoughts fighting in his head. Macbeth is in a state of denial. To insure himself that he is not going insane, Macbeth tells Banquo’s Ghost that “Thy bones are marrowless; thy blood is cold / Thou hast no speculation in those eyes / Which thou dost glare with”(3.4.114-116). Similar to when Macbeth tells his wife he saw a ghost, Macbeth tries to remain sane. We are not exposed to our real personality until something really awful happens. Once something bad happens all of the useless things fall away until we are left with who we really are.
Shakespeare, William. Macbeth. Ed. Barbara A. Mowat and Paul Werstine. Folger ed. New...
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