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Macbeth realizes that Banquo is a loyal, trustworthy man who would never think of conspiring against King Duncan. Macbeth also understands that Banquo is the only person to witness the prophecy of the Three Witches. Macbeth knows that after he kills King Duncan, Banquo will eventually become suspicious because he truly understands the nature of Macbeth's motive to become king. To protect himself from Banquo exposing his true motives and also to stop his descendants from becoming kings, Macbeth sends assassins to murder Banquo and his son. The assassins are only able to kill Banquo while Fleance escapes. Even though Macbeth was able to stop Banquo from exposing his motives, Banquo's descendants might still become rulers, which bothers Macbeth. Macbeth then begins to feel an overwhelming sense of guilt after he kills Banquo and even sees his ghost. Macbeth descends into madness after killing Banquo and becomes filled with bloodlust. In conclusion, Macbeth does not stop Banquo's descendants from becoming kings, and his death fills Macbeth with guilt, which gradually turns into madness.

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Macbeth fails to resolve his conflict with Banquo for two reasons. The first reason relates to the prophesy made by the witches at the beginning of the play. When the witches state that Banquo's descendants will inherit the throne, this idea makes Macbeth quite perturbed. After Macbeth kills Duncan, he realizes that he does not want to be replaced by Banquo's descendants eventually. He does not like to think that he had to dirty his hands only to enable Banquo's descendants to gain power some day:

Upon my head they placed a fruitless crown,
And put a barren sceptre in my gripe,
Thence to be wrench'd with an unlineal hand,
No son of mine succeeding.

Another main reason why Macbeth has to get rid of Banquo is because he sees him as a genuine threat. When Macbeth tests Banquo's loyalty, he learns that Banquo would never do something immoral in order to help Macbeth. This means that Macbeth cannot rely on Banquo's support:

 There is none but he
 Whose being I do fear: and, under him,
 My Genius is rebuked...

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