Compare Macduff and Banquo in Macbeth.

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renelane eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Macduff is much more of an action type of person. He is quick to draw conclusions, and this is seen in the way he appears to be the first to suspect that Macbeth had something to do with the murder of Duncan. Macduff was suspiciously absent from the coronation and banquet to honor Macbeth, which lends to the idea that he believes Macbeth guilty of the murder. Macduff is also putting the political climate's safety before that of his family. He leaves his wife and son, knowing Macbeth is a danger to them, to assemble troops to fight him.

Banquo, on the other hand, seems to possess much more virtue in the way of his attitude toward family and friends. Sadly, this is his downfall. Macbeth is his friend, and he is dismissive of the witches and their predictions at first, and tried to caution Macbeth to do the same. He is not a stupid man, he just trusted the wrong person. When he finally comes to realize that Macbeth means to do him harm, he is devastated-"As the weird women promis'd, and I fear/ Thou play'dst most foully for't"(act III, i). Banquo is also a more protective father than Macduff. When the murderers come, he commands Fleance to leave him and save himself.