Tragic Foils: Banquo and Billy Costagin

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Tragic Foils: Banquo and Billy Costagin The tragic foil can be found in a variety of literature. There are many similarities and differences between Banquo from Macbeth and Billy Costagin from The Departed. A foil can be defined as a secondary character that contrasts with the main or major character of the story. Examples include Dr. Watson as a foil to Sherlock Holmes and Laertes and Fortinbras as foils to Hamlet. The foil can contrast with the protagonist in different ways, such as their physical characteristics like in Sherlock Holmes, or in the case of Hamlet, not having a father. A tragic foil is a foil that is found in tragedies. These foils they differ in their ethics and actions. Examples of this are Banquo as a tragic foil of Macbeth and Billy Costagin as a tragic foil of Colin Sullivan. Macbeth was written by William Shakespeare. It’s about a young successful soldier who comes across three witches who hail him as three titles, two of which are prophecies. They call him the thane of Glamis, thane of Cawdor, and king here after. He becomes so obsessed with becoming king that he becomes blind with ambition and kills a whole lot of people to get there. By the time he became king, he was so paranoid about the people around him that he could not even enjoy being the king. Banquo is Macbeth’s right hand man and he too was there when the three witches prophesied that Macbeth would be king. They told him that although he would not be king, his son would start a long line of rulers. Macbeth kills Banquo because he is nervous that he will tell the others about him becoming king. In the end, the sons of the old king and Macduff, enemy of Macbeth, join forces to defeat Macbeth and take the throne. Macduff kills Macbeth and Banquo’s son eventually becomes king. Banquo is a very important character in Macbeth. He is Macbeth’ best friend. He is everything

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