I need quotations to support this fact: Macbeth has ignored Banquo’s advice of Act1, Scene 3, lines 119 – 125Shakespeare's "macbeth"

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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First of all, in the play "Macbeth,"no sooner has Banquo cautioned Macbeth that

...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 (I,iii,123-126)

then Macbeth begins to believe in the prophesy of the weird sisters:

Two truths are told,/As happy prologues to the swelling act/Of the imperial theme....(I,iii, 41-42)

Later, in Act IV, Macbeth returns to the three sisters for more prophetic words. He tells the witches that they are like the ghost of Banquo which has appeared to him, pointing to his descendants.  Worried that these decscendants will be king, he asks the witches for advice.  They have told him that he will not be vanquished until

Great Birnam Wood to High Dunsinane Hill/Shall come against him (IV,i,93-94),

but Macbeth, who curses himself for believing them--"damned all those that trust them!" (IV,i,139), feels that he must pursue his plan and rid the threat of descendants by murdering the family of Macduff.  He will

give to th'edge o'th'sword/His wife, his babes, and all unfortunate souls/That trace him in his line. (IV, ii,153-155)

Then, with the opening of Act V, Macbeth continues his reliance on his interpretation of the predictions of the witches which he reviews in Scene Three:

JThe spirits that know/All mortal consequences have pronounced me thus:/'Fear not, Macbeth; no man that's born of woman/Shall e'er have power upon thee.'  Then fly, false thans,/And mingle with the English epicures./ The mind I sway by and the heart I bear/Shall never sag with doubt nor shake with fear. (V,iii,4-10)

So, despite the guilt-disturbed sleepwalking of Lady Macbeth, the forces of Macduff and Malcolm joined against him, and many of Macbeth's own thanes having deserted him, Macbeth clings to his superstitious belief in the words of the witches, failing to heed Banquo's advice that their words contain half-truths, and truths that may deceive.

 

 

 

 

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