How do I write a eulogy on Banquo from Macbeth?

Expert Answers
favoritethings eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Not only was Banquo loyal and brave, he was also skeptical, intuitive, and intelligent. A good eulogy on him ought to mention these wonderful qualities as well. After the conversation he and Macbeth have with the Weird Sisters, Banquo asks,

Were such things here as we do speak about?
Or have we eaten on the insane root
That takes the reason prisoner? (1.3.86-88)

While Macbeth is completely ready to believe what news the sisters have delivered to them, Banquo questions the information as well as those who deliver it. He is not easy to manipulate, unlike Macbeth. When he and Macbeth learn that Macbeth has been named the new Thane of Cawdor, Macbeth rejoices and takes it as a sign that the sisters really did speak true. Banquo, however, intuitively understands that it might still be unwise to trust them, saying,

But 'tis strange
And oftentimes, to win us to our harm,
The instruments of darkness tell us truths,
Win us with honest trifles, to betray 's
In deepest consequence. (1.3.134-138)

We see Banquo's intelligence on display here, especially because he is right! The Weird Sisters did not deliver a prophecy when they told Macbeth he would be Thane of Cawdor; it had already been decided by Duncan earlier in the play—Macbeth himself just was not aware yet, and so it looked like they foretold the future. However, because their first seeming prophecy "came true," Macbeth believed all the rest without question. Banquo, on the other hand, was much more savvy and wise. These qualities should be mentioned in his eulogy.

In addition, immediately after Duncan's murder, when Macduff finds the body, Lady Macbeth is feigning ignorance of the crime when she says, "What, in our house?" (2.3.102). It is Banquo who picks up on and points out the inappropriateness of such a response, and he responds, "Too cruel anywhere—" (2.3.104). Again, he is quick and smart, and this response also shows his loyalty to and love of Duncan: more wonderful traits to include.

litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

A eulogy is written after someone dies, commemorating and celebrating the person’s death.  Banquo’s eulogy would focus on how he was a brave soldier, loyal to the king, and loyal to Macbeth. 

Macbeth and Banquo were both praised for their efforts in the battle where Macbeth killed Macdonwald.

As sparrows eagles, or the hare the lion.

If I say sooth, I must report they were(40)

As cannons overcharged with double cracks,

So they

Doubly redoubled strokes upon the foe. (Act I, Scene 1)

Clearly, Banquo’s eulogy would include some mentions of this battle.  You would want to mention how he was brave, fought well, and came out alive.  He stayed by Macbeth’s side.

Since Banquo and Macbeth were clearly good friends, and Banquo had Macbeth’s interests at heart, his support of Macbeth as a captain and a king should be mentioned.

Banquo was a family man. His son Fleance got away.  If Fleance talked, he would tell everyone how his father supported him.

O, treachery! Fly, good Fleance, fly, fly, fly!

Thou mayst revenge. O slave! (Act III, Scene 3)

Remember that a eulogy is going to be celebratory but somber.  It is a celebration of someone’s life and a mourning of their death.