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Why does Macbeth tell the murderers to kill Banquo and why doesn't he kill Banquo...
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Macbeth needs Banquo killed because Banquo is raising suspicions that Macbeth killed Duncan (which he did). Macbeth has to get rid of him before he tells that to many people. More than that, however, Macbeth is worried that the prophecy of Banquo’s sons being kings will come true. His reign will be barren if his sons do not succeed him. Macbeth hires two men to murder Banquo and Fleance. Macbeth hires the murders to kill Banquo so he can be assured of success. (Although many argue that the third murder in the scene is, in fact, Macbeth)
Posted by janeyb on May 23, 2007 at 12:52 AM (Answer #1)
High School Teacher
If he wasn't the third murderer, his decision to hire people instead of doing it himself may have something to do with his already growing guilt. No matter how ambitious you are, killing one of your good buddies would be extremely difficult. In addition, by hiring people, he cuts down on his level of involvement in these murders also - less of a chance that he gets caught and blamed for these, too.
Posted by mrerick on May 23, 2007 at 6:47 AM (Answer #2)
High School Teacher
Macbeth explains to the muderers why he can't kill Banquo himself:
...and yet I must not,
For certain friends that are both his and mine,
Whose loves I may not drop, but wail his fall
Who I myself struck down. And thence it is
That I to your assistance do make love,
Masking the business from the common eye
For sundry weighty reasons.
If I've read this correctly, he has many reasons for wanting to hide his part in this, not the least of which is that he and Banquo have mutual friends. He can not be seen murdering him; instead, he must, with Banquo's friends, weep for the loss of him. In public, at least.
He is concerned with how things appear. He can't be seen with blood on his hands. Were he to kill Banquo directly, he would lose favour with some powerful people (whose loves he may not drop). I think he is aware of how tenuous his position is, and of how much he needs the few people who remain on his side.
Posted by blacksheepunite on May 23, 2007 at 9:00 AM (Answer #3)
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