Why is Act III, scene 4 so important in "Macbeth"?

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In Macbeth, Act III, Scene IV is important for two reasons. Firstly, at the beginning of this scene, Macbeth speaks to the men he hired to kill Banquo and Fleance. They tell him that they killed Banquo but that Fleance escaped. This creates a strong sense of anxiety in Macbeth because his position as king is not safe:

Then comes my fit again. I had else been perfect.

Remember that the witches told Macbeth that Banquo's sons would be kings. As Fleance is not dead, there is a strong possibility that this prophecy will come true and Macbeth will lose his crown.

Secondly, this scene is important because Macbeth sees the ghost of Banquo, a hallucination which causes great distress. As the ghost comes and goes, Macbeth's state of mind switches from anxious to calm, giving the reader an insight into Macbeth's psychological wellbeing.

Finally, at the end of the scene, Macbeth resolves to go and see the witches again. He says that his own security (as king) is the only thing that matters. Macbeth's...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 542 words.)

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