After the witches tell Macbeth that he will be Thane of Cawdor and eventually king, Macbeth tries to hide the rising of his ambition from his best friend, Banquo. For example, after Ross and Angus come in with the news that King Duncan has named Macbeth Thane of Cawdor, Macbeth immediately becomes distracted, thinking about the possibility of being king. Banquo notices this, but when he speaks to Macbeth, Macbeth says, “My dull brain was wrought with things forgotten” (I.iii.150).
In Act II, Banquo is walking around late at night when he encounters Macbeth. Banquo says, “I dreamt last night of the weird sisters. To you they have shown some truth,” and Macbeth replies, “I think not of them” (II.i.19-21). Finally, in Act III, Macbeth is planning Banquo’s death and trying to find out where Banquo is going and if he is taking his son with him. “Ride you this afternoon….is’t far you ride…goes Fleance with you” (III. i.18-35). In this scene, Macbeth is acting as if he is concerned that Banquo will not make it back for the feast, but in reality, he is trying to find out the best place for the murderers to lie in wait to kill his friend.