Compare and contrast Banquo and Macbeth.

Expert Answers info

Gretchen Mussey eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2015

write8,961 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Law and Politics

Throughout the play, Banquo is portrayed as a loyal, level-headed individual who becomes a victim of Macbeth's unchecked ambition. Like Macbeth, Banquo is also a valiant soldier who courageously fights against the Irish and Norwegian troops at the beginning of the play. Banquo also receives a prophecy from the witches but reacts differently to their message. Banquo is more discerning than Macbeth and exercises caution after hearing his prophecy. Banquo is also curious about his future but does not act upon his prophecy. Unlike Banquo, Macbeth acts upon his prophecy, which leads to his downfall. Macbeth is negatively influenced by his ambitious wife and ends up murdering King Duncan. Macbeth then becomes a bloodthirsty tyrant who kills Banquo and Macduff's entire family. Macbeth's unchecked ambition leads to his downfall, and he is eventually killed in battle by Macduff.

Further Reading:
check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Unlock This Answer Now