How are Macbeth and Banquo in William Shakespeare's Macbeth alike and different?

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thanatassa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Macbeth and Banquo in William Shakespeare's Macbeth are similar in being good friends who are both successful Scottish generals in the army of King Duncan. They are also both ambitious. When Banquo and Macbeth meet the three weird sisters on the blasted heath, both are initially interested in listening to them, but Banquo recoils from them as evil supernatural beings but Macbeth allows himself to be influenced by them. There is some debate as to whether Banquo was complicit with Macbeth in the death of King Duncan. Even though he did not kill Duncan, he may have been complicit in knowing of it and keeping silent. However, Macbeth, in his murder of Duncan, then of Banquo, and then his subsequent reign of terror is obviously morally worse (whether simply by opportunity and intent is uncertain).