What is the main difference between Macduff and Banquo? Are they static or dynamic?

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William Delaney | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Macduff is emotional, explosive, motivated by his feelings rather than by his intellect. Banquo is calm, cool, cautious, observant, motivated by his intellect. A good example of the differences in their peresonalities can be seen when Macduff discovers King Duncan's body. Macduff is making a big emotional scene, shoutiing, ringing the alarm bell, waking up everybody in the castle. Shakespeare must have chosen Macduff to be the person assigned to calling on the King in the morning because he wanted someone who would make a big scene. On the other hand, when Banquo appears on the stage and Macduff says, "O Banquo, Banquo, / Our royal master's murdered," Banquo responds, "Dear Duff, I prithee, contradict thyself / And say it is not so." This is a cool and thoughtful response. Banquo displays the same cool reseerve throughout the play. You might say that Macduff is dynamic and Banquo is static.


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