People have had lots of fun trying to figure out who the ThirdMurderer really is. It's evidently somebody who knows Banquo andFleance. The usual suspects include Macbeth, Lady Macbeth,or a servant or thane. All these people are supposed to showup momentarily at Macbeth's dinner party, without bloodstains.
Macbeth deals with the fictionalancestors of the Stuart line (Banquo, Fleance) and presents Banquomore favorably than did the play's sources. (In Holinshed,Banquo is Macbeth's active accomplice.) The procession of kingsends with a mirror (probably held by Banquo rather thananother king, as in some notes.)James could see himself, thus becoming part of the action. Macbethsays he sees more kings afterwards. Shakespeare has turned thenature spirits of his sources into witches for thewitch-hunting king's enjoyment.
As soon as Macbeth thinks of murdering Duncan, he says to Banquo, "Let's talk about this confidentially."This happens again before the dagger scene. However, Shakespeare's Banquo onlybecomes Macbeth's accomplice by his acquiescence afterwards.
Macbeth meets King Duncan, thanking him for his new title. The also loyal Banquo receives nothing. King Duncan remarks how he completely trusted the previous Thane of Cawdor.
A list of all the characters in Macbeth
A guilt-ridden Macbeth wrestles with his conscience, certain that he should not kill King Duncan yet guiltily having to remind himself of all the reasons why it would be wrong. Macbeth decides against murdering his King but Lady Macbeth belittles him for not being able to murder, threatening to take away her love for him if he does not. This threat wins Macbeth over and Lady Macbeth outlines her plan to kill King Duncan in his sleep while he is a guest at their castle.
Macbeth Essay at Absolute Shakespeare
Macbeth now first questions Banquo's on his feelings about his descendants becoming kings and then starts thinking of killing King Duncan to make prophecy fact but later hopes fate alone will spare him the need to kill...
Banquo and son Fleance arrive at Macbeth's castle. Banquo is troubled by the Three Witches' prophecy and tells Macbeth this. Macbeth pretends not to take the Three Witches seriously.
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Banquo's questions are those of natural curiosity,such as a girl would put after hearing a gipsy tell her school-fellow's fortune;all perfectly general, or rather planless. But Macbeth, lost in thought, raises himself to speech only by the Witches being about to depart: