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What prophecy is given to Banquo in "Macbeth"?

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cristy8693 | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted December 16, 2008 at 5:47 AM via web

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What prophecy is given to Banquo in "Macbeth"?

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robertwilliam | College Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

Posted December 16, 2008 at 6:33 AM (Answer #1)

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FIRST WITCH:
Lesser than Macbeth, and greater.

SECOND WITCH:
Not so happy, yet much happier.

THIRD WITCH:
Thou shalt get kings, though thou be none.
So all hail, Macbeth and Banquo!

These are the prophecies the witches make to Banquo: he'll be less than Macbeth but greater (which ends up meaning that he'll be less powerful politically but morally greater!) not as happy (in terms of wealth) but ultimately happier, and the father of kings though he shall never be king himself.

Interestingly - Fleance, Macbeth's son is never crowned at the end of the play; it's usually assumed that Shakespeare is referring to James I, on the throne when Macbeth was written, who descended frmo Banquo.

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english12ng | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted December 16, 2008 at 6:12 AM (Answer #2)

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The prophecy is that His sons will be kings but he will never be king

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