Banquet Scene

Powerful Essays
Topics: Macbeth
BANQUET SCENE IN MACBETH (Saikat Guha)
Act III Scene IV, popularly known as the Banquet Scene sees Macbeth and his wife playing as the perfect host and hostess in the solemn banquet following Macbeth’s coronation in Act II Scene IV. Macbeth plays the humble host and mingles with the assembly giving ‘first and last the hearty welcome’. Lady Macbeth is gracious and dignified and though not as effusive as Macbeth, assures her guests a warm reception. Macbeth proposes a toast to all and bids his nobles to ‘be large in mirth’. No one can have the slightest suspicion that this benevolent royal figure is even now resolving in his mind the success of his latest crime- the murder of Banquo for which he has hired special assassins. Macbeth has learnt to dissemble well and has come a long way from the time when his face ‘was as a book wherein men may read strange matters’. H is fast growing used to crime and so when earlier on the occasion of Duncan’s visit he had left Lady Macbeth to entertain the guests, now it is he who is more active while his wife is strangely subdued in what should be her moment of triumph. Her pensiveness indicates the delayed reaction which is suppressed within her but which is already beginning the disintegration of her personality. The attitudes of the two characters at the beginning of the feast reveal how wrong Lady Macbeth was in her estimate of the two characters. Lady Macbeth is not as hard and callous as she has tried herself to make out and her inner disorientation is clear from the fact that her mind is not on her guests so that she has to be reminded of her duties. The first murderer now appears at the door to report Banquo’s death and his son Fleance’s escape. Macbeth is not unduly disturbed by the blood on the man’s face and quite matter-of-factly enquires “Is

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