In "Macbeth", explain what occurs at the feast the night Banquo is murdered.

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robertwilliam eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Banquo was of course invited to the Macbeths' feast - "Fail not our feast", Macbeth says to him, just before he goes off riding with Fleance. And even though, as the First Murderer tells us early in the scene when he brings the news to Macbeth, Banquo lies dead in a ditch, he still does not fail to attend the Macbeths' feast. 

The guests enter and sit at the table, Macbeth playing the happy host. And then the ghost of Banquo enters and sits in Macbeth's place -  unseen by everyone other than Macbeth, who (understandably) starts to rave:

Thou canst not say I did it: never shake
Thy gory locks at me. 

Lady Macbeth is bemused and furious, begging her husband to sit down and stop his madness - and eventually, the ghost vanishes and he does, telling the table

I have a strange infirmity, which is nothing
To those that know me.

Yet the ghost appears again, and Macbeth raves again:

Avaunt, and quit my sight! Let the earth hide thee!
Thy bones are marrowless, thy blood is cold...

Lady Macbeth tries and tries to hold the occasion together, but eventually just gives in, ordering the guests to go home at once:

I pray you, speak not; he grows worse and worse
Question enrages him. At once, good night.

The guests leave, and the banquet is over.