What does Macbeth think as he anticipates the murder of Banquo in Macbeth?

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litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Macbeth thinks the murder of Banquo is justified.  He does not have any doubts, unlike the murder of Duncan.

Duncan worries about killing Duncan, and has doubts leading up to the murder.  He has no such second thoughts concerning the murder of Banquo, even though Banquo is a fellow soldier and noble, and a close friend.

Our fears in Banquo

Stick deep, and in his royalty of nature

Reigns that which would be fear'd. (Act 3, Scene 1)

Macbeth feels that his murder of Banquo is justified, because he is king now.  He has to protect his crown at all costs.  He is angry that the witches prophesized that Banquo’s sons would be king, and is intent to avoid a “fruitless crown.”  He is also worried that Banquo knows too much, and might suspect he killed Duncan.  So Banquo has to go.


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