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What are some words that describe Banquo in Shakespeare's Macbeth?

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mikeyt | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted January 25, 2009 at 11:59 AM via web

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What are some words that describe Banquo in Shakespeare's Macbeth?

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Noelle Thompson | High School Teacher | eNotes Employee

Posted January 26, 2009 at 10:27 AM (Answer #1)

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Banquo can be described as noble, honorable, suspicious, inactive, and (at the end of Act III) dead.  In Act 1, Scene 4, King Duncan praises Banquo's nobility by saying "Noble Banquo / That has no less deserved, nor must be known / No less to have done so."  From the beginning both Macbeth and Banquo are seen as equals and even converse with each other as such.  Banquo is also honorable in that he doesn't take to heart the witches' advice.  Also, in Act 3, Scene 1, is described in this way:  "He hath a wisdom that doth guide his valour / To act in safety."  It adds to Banquo's honor that he is incredibly suspicious of Macbeth.  Banquo even confronts Macbeth in Act 3, Scene 1, by saying, "I fear Thou play'dst most foully for't."  However, Banquo has that tragic flaw of inaction in that he does nothing as a result of these suspicions.  As a result, Macbeth has Banquo killed later in Act 3.  Analyzing these qualities of Banquo makes a nice transition into comparing Macbeth and Banquo as foils.

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