Is there really an exchange between Macbeth and Banquo in act II scene1?

Expert Answers
mstultz72 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Banquo gives Macbeth a diamond, which Duncan has asked be given to Lady Macbeth for her boundless hospitality as hostess to the King and entourage:

What, sir, not yet at rest? The king's a-bed:
He hath been in unusual pleasure, and
Sent forth great largess to your offices.
This diamond he greets your wife withal,
By the name of most kind hostess; and shut up
In measureless content.
Banquo gives Macbeth a diamond

Since Duncan is "a-bed" Banquo is the highest ranking thane on the watch; therefore, he must carry out Duncan's royal order here. 

The exchange is, of course, ironic since the audience has just heard Lady Macbeth and Macbeth plot to murder Duncan in his sleep.