Compare and contrast the murders of Banquo and Duncan in Macbeth.

In Macbeth, Duncan and Banquo's murders take place at night, are executed to secure Macbeth's position as king, negatively affect Macbeth's mindset, and were influenced by the witches' prophecies. Lady Macbeth plays a major role in Duncan's murder but is not involved or aware of Banquo's murder. Macbeth also kills Duncan by himself but hires murderers to execute Banquo. Macbeth also experiences hallucinations before Duncan's assassination but sees Banquo's ghost at a feast following the murder.

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Macbeth has serious reservations about killing King Duncan and only follows through with the murder after speaking to his nefarious wife. Lady Macbeth is highly involved in King Duncan's murder and forces her husband to follow through with it. She manipulates her husband by criticizing his manhood and awakening his...

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Macbeth has serious reservations about killing King Duncan and only follows through with the murder after speaking to his nefarious wife. Lady Macbeth is highly involved in King Duncan's murder and forces her husband to follow through with it. She manipulates her husband by criticizing his manhood and awakening his ambition. During Banquo's murder, Lady Macbeth does not know her husband's plans or influence him to kill his former friend.

King Duncan's murder also takes place in Macbeth's castle, and Macbeth and his wife pretend to be shocked and appalled by the bloody crime. Their performance is very convincing, and Lady Macbeth even faints in front of the men. Banquo's murder takes place in a park outside of the castle. The Scottish thanes do not get to see his deceased body and think that he has simply missed the celebratory feast. King Duncan is also sleeping when he is killed, while Banquo is awake after his nightly ride. Macbeth also stabs King Duncan himself but hires assassins to kill Banquo and his son Fleance, who manages to escape unscathed.

There are a few similarities between both murders. Macbeth is involved in both crimes, and the victims are unaware that they are in danger. King Duncan and Banquo are not alone when they are murdered. Two chamberlains are beside King Duncan, and Fleance is by his father's side when they are attacked. Both murders also reveal Macbeth's ambition and cause him mental anguish. After killing King Duncan, Macbeth laments and regrets his actions. Following Banquo's murder, Macbeth sees his ghost and descends into madness.

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Both Duncan and Banquo's murders are planned and executed to secure Macbeth's position as King of Scotland and were influenced by the witches' prophecies. Both Duncan and Banquo's murders take place at night, and Macbeth is forced to maintain his composure in front of the Scottish lords and conceal his true emotions. Both the murders also negatively influence Macbeth's mindset and cause him to experience a significant amount of guilt and remorse. Despite the several similarities, there are notable differences between the two murders. Macbeth is influenced by his wife to assassinate King Duncan, and she plays a significant role in the murder. Lady Macbeth not only plans the murder but also participates in the crime by bringing the daggers back into Duncan's chamber. In contrast, Macbeth does not inform his wife about Banquo's murder, and she is not involved in the crime.

Macbeth hallucinates before committing regicide by witnessing a bloody dagger pointed in the direction of Duncan's chamber. In contrast, Macbeth experiences a visual hallucination after Banquo's murder by seeing his ghost at the feast. Macbeth takes Duncan's life with his own hands but hires murderers to kill Banquo. Macbeth also kills the chamberlains sleeping in Duncan's room and blames the murder on them while Fleance is able to escape when his father is attacked.

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Whether to murder Duncan is an issue Macbeth struggles with before committing the crime. Macbeth respects Duncan and decides he can't kill him. Then Lady Macbeth questions his manhood and convinces him that he must kill Duncan. Macbeth might have backed down if Lady Macbeth's ambitions hadn't been greater than his own at that time. Lady Macbeth was afraid that Macbeth's nature was too full "of the milk of human kindness". After the murder of Duncan, Macbeth is shaken, forgetting to leave the daggers beside the guards.

Macbeth decides to kill Banquo and his son because they are a threat to Macbeth's future as king. At this point, Macbeth has become a cold-blooded killer who will do anything to keep what he wants. Macbeth doesn't even tell Lady Macbeth about Banquo's murder; he has it done by hired killers without consulting her. He doesn't even take into consideration that Banquo is his friend, and he is truly blind with ambition.

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Compare and contrast the murders of Banquo and Duncan
Well, a fully developed comparison would involve a bit more context. What are you comparing about these actions?

In general, though, you could say the following things about the two crimes.
Macbeth murders Duncan himself (with his wife's urging/help).
Banquo is killed by people Macbeth has set to the task.
As a result, Banquo's murder is much riskier politically.
Duncan is murdered in Act II; Banquo is murdered in Act III.
After Duncan is murdered, Macbeth seems to hold it together pretty well; he blames the guards. After Banquo is murdered, Macbeth about loses it in public.
After both murders, Macbeth's mind is disturbed. After both murders, the natural order of things is disturbed.
That should be enough to get you started on this question, yes?
Greg

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