Macbeth Questions and Answers
by William Shakespeare

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What is the contrast between Banquo and Macbeth's choices and characters? Who died as an honorable man and why?

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The main contrast between Macbeth and Banquo lies in the way they behave following the witches' prophecy. Thinking that the witches' prediction gives him the right to power over Scotland, Macbeth acts on his lust for power and murders his way to the throne. Banquo, on the other hand, doesn't do anything with his knowledge of the prophecy. He chooses to go about his daily life. 

As such, Banquo dies an honorable man, while Macbeth dies as a reviled autocrat. It's true that Banquo somewhat questionably keeps silent about his suspicions regarding Macbeth (he thinks Macbeth cheated his way to the throne, but decides not to act on this hunch), but Banquo's silence is nowhere as bad as Macbeth's murderous rampage. As such, Banquo dies with his honor intact, while Macbeth dies with an irredeemably ruined reputation.

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