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Character Sketch of Banquo of the King's Army

Character Sketch of Banquo of the King's Army

Banquo is a General of the King’s Army. He has a young son named Fleance, who seems to be an early teenager, evident from his picture on Page 14, where Banquo calls him “boy”, in Act II Scene I, and on the sidebar of that same Act and Scene, where it says he is a young boy. Banquo is a good friend of Macbeth, who is a fellow General. Coming back from a large battle in the first Act, on a barren heath, they are encountered by the Three Witches. Banquo receives his prophecy, albeit greedily, declaring him father to a line of King’s, as well as being happier than Macbeth. They also cryptically predict he will be not happy, yet happier than Macbeth, and lesser than Macbeth, and also greater. He is a good and close friend to Macbeth in the first Act, as well as having a similar personality and loyalty, however that all changes in Act II.




As the sidebar says in Act II Scene I, and also can be interpreted from their light verbal joust in said Act and Scene, there is a rift growing between them. Banquo is being invaded by corrupt dreams about his prophecy, much like Macbeth, but he has much more resolve. He cannot sleep because he can’t fight these dreams while unconscious in sleep. It shows that Banquo is going to attain this prophecy, by means intended, instead of murdering and plundering for greed like Macbeth. This outlines a difference in these two men, that Banquo is against evil, stated by, “My bosom franchis’d and allegiance clear.” This foreshadows things to come however, and what can be attained is that Banquo will be sought out to die by Macbeth, because Banquo could make the connections between Duncan’s murder and his prophecy as being a sinister interpretation by Macbeth himself. Act II causes a sharp split in the parallel paths of Macbeth and Banquo with regards to their personalities and their scruples.

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