Homework Help

Does Shakespeare use humor for comic relief in the banquet scene of "Macbeth", as he...

user profile pic

hoopsgal21

Posted February 23, 2011 at 11:07 AM via web

dislike 0 like

Does Shakespeare use humor for comic relief in the banquet scene of "Macbeth", as he does in the earlier scene with the porter?

 

1 Answer | Add Yours

user profile pic

luannw | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

Posted February 24, 2011 at 3:51 AM (Answer #1)

dislike 1 like

In Act 2, sc. 3, Shakespeare breaks up the tension of the play with the comical scene of the exchange between the Porter and Macduff when Macduff arrives at Macbeth's castle to get Duncan.  This is typical move on Shakespeare's part.  During the banquet scene in Act 3, sc. 4, there is no humor.  When Macbeth sees the ghost of Banquo sitting in his seat and no one else sees the ghost, it is not humorous, it is showing us Macbeth's current mental state.  The scene shows how much guilt Macbeth feels over having had Banquo, his good friend, killed.  Shakespeare isn't trying to create humor when he has Lady Macbeth make excuses for Macbeth's behavior; he is showing how Lady Macbeth has to cover for her husband.  These actions show us the level of desperation of both Macbeth and Lady Macbeth.

Join to answer this question

Join a community of thousands of dedicated teachers and students.

Join eNotes