How does Macbeth feel as he sees the vision of eight kings in Shakespeare's Macbeth?

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luannw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The play is largely about Macbeth's ambition and his ambition does not end with himself; he wants to see his descendants become king.  Forget the fact that he has no children.  When he sees the vision of the kings, the last one looking into a mirror and all of them resembling Banquo, Macbeth is angry. (This part of the scene from Act 4, sc. 1, was meant to flatter King James I of England, who had been King James VI of Scotland.)  Macbeth is angry when he sees this line of Banquo look-alikes because, to him, it means that the predictions of the Weird Sisters back in Act 1, sc. 3, that while Banquo himself would never be king, he would be the father of kings, will come true.  None of those future kings in the vision look like Macbeth, so it means that there are no future kings in Macbeth's family.  Macbeth had Banquo murdered, in part, because of that prediction by the Weird Sisters, but Fleance escaped the murderers, much to Macbeth's chagrin.  So, even though the previous apparitions shown to Macbeth have given him a measure of confidence in his invulnerability, this last vision frustrates and angers him.