Macbeth: Being Silent Has Its Advantages

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Kayla Peterson
11 AP
Ms. Hedstrom
November 2, 2009
Being silent can have its advantages

In plays there are some characters that appear briefly, do not say much or are mentioned but do not make an appearance and yet they still have an impact on the rest of the characters and plot of the play. In the play Macbeth by William Shakespeare the character Fleance fills this role. Fleance is important because he is to be King of Scotland, and that he is thought of a lot when Macbeth talks about the prophecies.

Fleance disappears after scene three in Act III; yet he is still a part of the plot because he is heir to the throne as told in the Weird Sisters’ prophecy. After the witches explain Macbeth’s prophecy they explain to Banquo “Thou shalt get kings, though thou be none.” (1.2 67) What the witch meant was that Banquo’s line of heirs and descendants will become kings and be royalty. Banquo, on the other hand, will not be king of Scotland because destiny has other things in stored for him. Fleance, being the son of Banquo, means that he will be king when the time is right. To take the throne for him self, Macbeth hires three murderers to kill Fleance and Banquo to keep Fleance from gaining the throne and keep the throne for him self. Having Fleance escape, Shakespeare suggests that fate will have surprises for Macbeth in the future, and that Fleance will not be completely forgotten in scenes to come.

Another reason why Fleance is an important, silent character is because he comes to mind when Macbeth goes back to the witches for answers. Macbeth goes to see the witches about getting some more answers about everything that has happened and what will happen. In Macbeth, Macbeth, in the lair of the withes’, sees a line of kings: “And yet the eighth appears, who bears a glass/ which show me many more.” (4.1 119-120) The mirror that the eighth king is holding shows the line of kings, Banquo’s children and their children to come, etc., beginning with...
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