What quote in Macbeth most describes Macbeth's and Banquo's character?If you were to pick one specfic quote that best describes each of these characters, what would it be?

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literaturenerd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

One has many different choices when choosing a quote from Macbeth which speaks to the characters of both Macbeth and Banquo.

Macbeth- "Let not light see my black and deep desires" (I,iv).

Here, Shakespeare offers readers a very direct characterization of Macbeth. Readers do not have to infer or guess what type of person he is. Instead, Macbeth openly admits that he is a bad person (on the inside). Over the course of the play, Macbeth proves, time and time again, that he is not a good person.

Banquo- "A heavy summons lies like lead upon me, and yet I would not sleep" (II,i).

Here, Shakespeare indirectly characterizes Banquo. While not being direct about his character, readers can infer that Banquo is a good person at heart given that he cannot sleep because of the things which cause him anguish (worry about Macbeth, his sons, and the future of the kingdom).

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