Envision your closest friend and you letting another person’s words allow you to drift apart. Slowly, your once best friend distances themselves from you, they become involved in sketchy activity, and ultimately, they totally denounce your friendship. In William Shakespeare’s tragedy Macbeth, Banquo, Macbeth’s closest friend, is betrayed this very way by his past comrade. Throughout the theatrical performance, Banquo plays a crucial role involving Macbeth’s behavior and actions, including Macbeth’s betrayal. As the three witches prophesized, Banquo is, “Lesser than Macbeth, and greater. / Not so happy, yet much happier. / Thou shalt get kings, though thou be none” (Shakespeare 1.3.63-65). Even though these prophecies are quite vague, it is apparent that they represent Banquo’s relationship to Macbeth. More specifically, each prophecy represents the three key reasons why Banquo is essential to the play. Banquo is significant to the play because he acts as a foil to Macbeth’s ambition, he thwarts Macbeth’s intentions and his relationship with Macbeth exemplifies Macbeth’s change in character.
Primarily, Banquo leads a life that resembles the lifestyle Macbeth could have had if he was not consumed by ambition. Essentially, the two men begin the tragedy with similar life paths, and digress from each other thereafter. Although both men are ambitious, their ability to handle this trait is the predominant factor that sets them apart. For example, Macbeth’s opportunity to gain more power ultimately leads to him killing Duncan. Attempting to recruit Banquo on this mission, Macbeth entices him with the opportunity to gain honor. In spite of the opportunity, Banquo is not willing to lose honor, “in seeking to augment it, but still keep / M...
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...hat Banquo at this point is completely delusional. Also, it reveals that Banquo’s death affected Macbeth most, because his guilt causes him to drive to a point of insanity.
Undeniably, Banquo holds a remarkable importance to the storyline of this theatrical work. Not only does Shakespeare utilize him to highlight Macbeth’s weakness of ambition, but to convey Macbeth’s development as a character. Additionally, Banquo plays a crucial role as the initial character to oppose Macbeth. Even after death Banquo’s impact was very much alive. Ultimately, Banquo was able to live a just and virtuous life. Furthermore, his legacy was carried on by establishing a lineage of kings. Living life as an honest and well-respected person is a considerably difficult task. Banquo is a fantastic role model of staying true to one’s own morals and his integrity is a great example to follow.
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