How does Shakespeare present the relationship between Macbeth and Banquo in act 3, scene 1 of Macbeth?

Expert Answers info

Colin Cavendish-Jones, Ph.D. eNotes educator | Certified Educator

briefcaseCollege Professor, Lawyer

bookM.A. from Oxford University

bookPh.D. from St. Andrews University


calendarEducator since 2019

write1,420 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

Macbeth and Banquo have always been firm friends and partners, though Banquo is very much the junior partner. The witches, however, hit on something fundamental when they hail Banquo as "lesser than Macbeth, and greater." In the battle at the beginning of the play, Banquo is everyone's second thought, his name tacked on to that of Macbeth. Duncan, greeting them both, says that Banquo has "no less deserved." A less magnanimous man than Banquo might think that he certainly has "less received," since Macbeth has been made Thane of Cawdor as a reward for his service while Banquo was given nothing. When Banquo and Macbeth talk to the witches, however, Macbeth deigns to traffic and parley with them, while Banquo treats them with the aristocratic contempt one would expect of a high nobleman and a great warrior.

In act 3, scene 1, Banquo has finally come to suspect and distrust his old friend. He is not specific about what he thinks Macbeth has done, but he is afraid that he has played "most foully"...

(The entire section contains 4 answers and 1,229 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now





check Approved by eNotes Editorial

David Morrison eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2017

write9,901 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Law and Politics

Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Gretchen Mussey eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2015

write9,648 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Law and Politics

Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

litteacher8 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2008

write15,968 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

check Approved by eNotes Editorial