Lesser Than Macbeth and Greater

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  • Topic: Macbeth, King Duncan, Duncan I of Scotland
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  • Published : December 30, 2010
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‘Lesser than Macbeth and greater,
Not so happy, yet much happier.’

Q. By detailed consideration of what he says and does, show whether you agree with what he witness says about Banquo. Answer: Like Macbeth, Banquo was a brave and able soldier.(refer to the two battles) But it is here that the similarities between the two ends. For, while Macbeth was urged by the witches’ predictions, to take steps to gain that which was promised, any such actions was opposed to Banquo’s loyalty.

We more than once hear of Banquo's bravery. First in Act I scene II, from the lips of the sergeant who brought news of the battle, and then from Macbeth himself. (Act II, Scene I) It was Banquo’s inherent loyalty, his complete honesty, and his high moral value, which made his reaction to the forecasting if the witches so different from that of Macbeth. At the end of Act I, Scene III, he showed himself prepared at some convenient time to talk with Macbeth, about their meeting with the witches. Instead, in Act II, Scene I, he mentions the dream in which the witches have appeared o him and almost fears sleep, lest in sleep, his resistance to possible evil inspirations may weaken. Furthermore, he would speak to Macbeth about the sisters, only if loyalty and his conscience are not compromised.

Banquo’s modesty is shown in his reply o the praise given to him by King Duncan. (Act I, Scene IV) , and although we must remember the age in which he lived, he did not allow superstition to dominate his life, the way Macbeth did.(warns…)

Many scholars see Banquo as a foil and a contrast to Macbeth. Macbeth, for example, eagerly accepts the prophecy as true, and seeks to help it along, with a little help from Lady Macbeth. Banquo, on the other hand, doubts the intentions of the seemingly evil creatures.

Whereas Macbeth places his hope in the prediction that he will be king, Banquo agrues that evil will only offer gifts that lead to destruction. Banquo steadily resists the...
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