Macbeth: Banquet Scene

Topics: Macbeth, Murder, Banquo Pages: 3 (895 words) Published: July 30, 2006
Macbeth: Banquet Scene

The Banquet scene in "Macbeth" is one of the most moving scenes and so far as the tragedy of ‘Macbeth' is concerned, it is tremendous in impact and intensity, dramatic in impact. The scene shows a perceptible degeneration of Macbeth's mental powers which is the inevitable consequence of his murderous deeds. It is the crisis of the play where from the reversal of Macbeth's fortune begins. The scene records Macbeth's guilty conscience taking the most horrible form in the shape of Banquo's ghost. It also shows Macbeth's gradual overcoming of the qualms of conscience. Shakespeare has used ghosts in his other main tragedies like "Julius Caesar" and "Hamlet". In the opening scene of "Hamlet" the ghost is seen by Mercellas, Barnerdo, Horatio and finally by Hamlet. The ghost that appears in Gertrude's bed chamber is a projection of Hamlet's stricken conscience and is seen by Hamlet alone. Likewise in the Banquet scene, Banquo's ghost is seen by Macbeth alone. That they see ghosts is both with Macbeth and Hamlet the strongest proof of their imaginative faculty. In fact Shakespeare's world of spirit appears as the physical embodiment of the images conjured up by lively fancy and the presence of the apparition is felt only by those who have an excitable imagination. However, the ghost in the Banquet scene of ‘Macbeth' is not merely a stage device, but an integral part of the tragedy. The ghost in ‘Macbeth' can be interpreted as the subjective projection of Macbeth's own troubled sense of morality. This scene has been preceded by the murder of Banquo. After his murder, feasting at Macbeth's palace is significantly emphasized. Hospitality is bounteous. But the appearance of the murderer withdraws Macbeth's attention. The murderer appears with ominous tidings helping to set the tempo of the play. In reply to his:

"My lord, his throat is cut
That I did for him"- Macbeth replies in a tone naively innocent irony:
"Thou art the best o'th'...
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