Act III Scene I, Macbeth. In his soliloquy, what suspicion and hope does Banquo reveal?  

2 Answers

dstuva's profile pic

Doug Stuva | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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In Banquo's soliloquy that opens Act III of Shakespeare's Macbeth, Banquo fears that Macbeth "...Play'dst most foully" to obtain the crown of Scotland.  He suspects Macbeth of treachery, of assassinating Duncan.

At the same time, Banquo hopes that since the prophecies in Act I came true for Macbeth (he was named Thane of Cawdor and crowned king), that the prophecies that related to his heirs might also come true.  Banquo hopes that "...[I] myself should be the root and father/Of many kings."  He says:

Why, by the verities on thee made good,

May they not be my oracles as well

And set me up in hope?...

Banquo asks that if Macbeth's prophecies came true, might the prophecies about his heirs come true, also.



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lit24 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Valedictorian

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Act III Sc. 1 opens with a soliloquy by Banquo. In Act I Sc.3 Macbeth and Banquo were both met by the three witches who prophesied that Macbeth would become King of Scotland and that Banquo although he would not become King of Scotland, his children would: "Thou shalt get kings, though thou be none."

Now in Act III Sc.1 Banquo in his soliloquy suspects that Macbeth has used foul means to usurp the throne, at the same time he hopes that since the prophecy came true for Macbeth the prophecy spoken for him  should also come true:

and, I fear,
Thou play'dst most foully for't: yet it was said
It should not stand in thy posterity,
But that myself should be the root and father
Of many kings. If there come truth from them--
As upon thee, Macbeth, their speeches shine--
Why, by the verities on thee made good,
May they not be my oracles as well,
And set me up in hope?