Explore the Ways in Which Banquo Is Presented in This Scene and Elsewhere in Shakespeare’s Play, and in the Performed Versions.

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Explore the ways in which Banquo is presented in this scene and elsewhere in Shakespeare’s play, and in the performed versions. The character of Banquo is of important to Macbeth because not only is he a close friend of the central character but he also represents the perfect contrast to Macbeths ambitious and ultimately evil path to the throne. Although his part is small in the sense he is dead by act three, he cannot be dismissed because he represents all that is intrinsically good in comparison to Macbeth who is ultimately evil. The function of act 2 scene 1 is to highlight or emphasise the contrast between these two characters, this is significant because it shows the difference between the two characters reactions to the weird sisters and their prophecies. Although the play has been recreated on both stage and screen hundreds of times in both Polanski and Ghoold productions the characters can be portrayed differently. This ultimately makes Banquo an interesting character. Shakespeare juxtaposes the two characters throughout the play; this also represents the juxtaposition of good and evil. He uses specific language which invites us in to compare them and how they react to the prophecies they have been given. The contrasts of the two characters Macbeth and Banquo start in the meeting of the two weird sisters. At first we see the two characters shocked by the prophecies, this being shown through short sentences, “Your children shall be kings.” “You shall be king.” However later on in the scene, we see that Banquo is already sceptical of the witches and hesitant of the prophecy he has been given, he says “What, can the devil speak true?” This shows that he is a very perceptive character and further on he always looks out for Macbeth and warns him about the witches, he is realistic and says “And oftentimes, to win us to our harm, The instruments of

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