luna1317
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how is Macbeth presented as guilty? also, what is the relationship like between Macbeth and Banquo? (aiming for grade 8, so detail and justification would be great!!!)
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adam.00
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Good luck with getting an 8, but surely you should be able to answer this question if you want to get that grade?
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Hugh-Mungus
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(Original post by luna1317)
how is Macbeth presented as guilty? also, what is the relationship like between Macbeth and Banquo? (aiming for grade 8, so detail and justification would be great!!!)
What is grade 8?
I studied Macbeth almost 4 years ago.
Did you get to watch the film in class?
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luna1317
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a grade 8 is part of the new 9-1 GCSE module. (4-9 being a pass, 4 a low C, 6 a B and 8 an A/A*.) and no not the full film, only short clips of the 'important scenes'
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luna1317
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(Original post by adam.00)
Good luck with getting an 8, but surely you should be able to answer this question if you want to get that grade?
yes, i am more than capable of answering but i feel as if i am repeating myself when structuring essays on guilt. so maybe different interpretations would help
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rickH123
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(Original post by luna1317)
how is Macbeth presented as guilty? also, what is the relationship like between Macbeth and Banquo? (aiming for grade 8, so detail and justification would be great!!!)
The relationship between banquo and macbeth is very close. At the start, they are both collectively described as "valiant cousins" by Duncan.

Macbeth is presented to being guilty because he lets Lady Macbeth challenge his manhood after he murders Duncan. Also after that, he states "will all Great Neptune's oceans wash this blood clean from my hand." This shows that he's guilty. The way his speech breaks down during the banquet and after the murderer shows that he's conscience as broken down. This could suggest that he's guilty.
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EllyJelly
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(Original post by luna1317)
how is Macbeth presented as guilty? also, what is the relationship like between Macbeth and Banquo? (aiming for grade 8, so detail and justification would be great!!!)
Sorry I don't have time to look up where these points come in the play as I'm in the middle of my uni English Lit finals - however, my Shakespeare exam was on 3rd and I revised the play for it. Here's a few points you could make.

1) He considers his conscience at several points before killing Duncan. This shows that he knows what he is about to do is wrong, but he does it anyway. Before the murder he makes the speech about angels 'blowing trumpets' and 'riding' through the air as if they're 'announcing' his guilt. The angel imagery suggests what he is doing is against the will of God - i.e. God will denounce publicly what he has done.

2) On the note of being against God, consider the play's historical context. The reigning monarch at the time was James I, who believed and promoted the 'Divine Right of Kings'. This was the belief that a King was ordained by God and was basically always right (google it for more good info). Therefore, wanting to please James I, Shakespeare puts a lot of subtle messages in Macbeth about the murder of Duncan being particularly evil because by killing the rightful King, Macbeth is driving a rift through divine order.

Macbeth is frequently talked about as not 'fitting' the role of a king. Near the end of the play Macduff and his army mention Macbeth's clothes, something along the lines of he is a 'small man in giant's robes'. This suggests he does not 'fit' the clothes and metaphorically doesn't 'fit' the role of king. On the topic of clothes not fitting/being a metaphor for not 'fitting' a role, right at the beginning when he becomes Thane of Cawdor Macbeth asks, 'why do you dress me in borrowed robes?'
Duncan himself is described in terms related to God - when they discover his body it is described as being 'silver and gold' and as a 'temple' - royal/religious imagery that suggests by murdering the rightful monarch Macbeth has committed an atrocity against the divine.

3) Consider the scene where Banquo's ghost reappears. The ghost is a literal manifestation of his guilt. (As is the blood on his hands - think back to his earlier quote 'all of Neptune's ocean' will not wash it away. This also becomes a big issue for Lady M and ultimately drives her insane.)
Banquo's ghost symbolises lots of things to do with guilt. He's sat in Macbeth's seat - he cannot be ignored, he is specifically targeting Macbeth, he is covered in injuries that Macbeth cannot have literally seen for himself (remember, he hired hitmen to kill him) - so is this Macbeth's guilty imagination running wild? The ghost also doesn't speak at all - but Macbeth fills the silence with continuous questions directed at the ghost. This one-sided conversation shows his guilt running away with him.

4) Consider what caused Macbeth to kill Duncan in the first place. Yes, the witches told him he would become King. But it was him that made this happen, not them. Duncan didn't just drop dead randomly, Macbeth decided independently to kill him. This leads us to question the role of the witches and whether they actually cause things to happen at all - they predict things, but human beings put them into action. In the earlier scenes Macbeth talks a lot about his 'vaulting ambition', 'over-leaping' etc. Consider his ambition and its involvement in his guilt.

The witches are associated with the Devil and therefore, temptation. Macbeth is guilty because he takes on board their words, even though it's very obvious they are evil and should be avoided (just think about their appearance). Back to historical context, James I was absolutely obsessed with witches - he ordered 'witch trials' in England in which usually old/poor women suspected of witchcraft were rounded up large-scale and executed. He once famously believed that 300 witches plotted to kill him (again, google this). James' anti-witch ideology meant he believed people should avoid witches at all costs, not listen to them and take their advice - so Macbeth is also doing wrong in this way.

5) Notice that Lady M and Macbeth 'swap roles' in terms of their 'murderousness' about half-way through the play. Initially, it's Lady M that drives her husband to kill Duncan. But when they are discussing the murder of Banquo, Lady M is reluctant and Macbeth now the driving force - he tells her 'not to worry about it' and puts his own plan into action. Macbeth can be seen to 'grow' as an evil character in the play: for the first murder (Duncan) he is reluctant, for the second (Banquo and Fleance) he actively plans and thinks about it, and the third (Macduff's wife and children) he orders the deaths of an innocent young family quickly and without much thought at all. The 'escalation' of his murderous tendencies could be another aspect of his guilt.

Hope this helps. Good luck!
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EllyJelly
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Oh, sorry Macbeth and Banquo too.

1) Banquo represents the biggest threat to Macbeth in his ability to have children. Whereas Banquo will be 'father to kings', Macbeth has only a 'barren sceptre' (he says this round about when he decides to have Banquo killed). Also think about the episode where Macbeth visits the witches and a whole line of kings follow Banquo out of the cauldron - Macbeth can't believe just how many of them there are ('three? ... four? ... seven? ... eight?'). Some of these figures carry multiple balls and sceptres - suggesting kingship and lineage going on into abundance.

2) See point in my above post about Banquo's ghost/guilt.

3) Banquo and Macbeth differ in their response to the witches' prophecy. Whereas the prophecy motivates Macbeth to murder, Banquo accepts what the witches say but doesn't obsess over it. This could be a sign of his suitability to be an heir to kings - he is rational and thinks moderately, whereas Macbeth takes an idea and runs with it, emphasising that he's not great at being a King.
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luna1317
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(Original post by EllyJelly)
Sorry I don't have time to look up where these points come in the play as I'm in the middle of my uni English Lit finals - however, my Shakespeare exam was on 3rd and I revised the play for it. Here's a few points you could make.

1) He considers his conscience at several points before killing Duncan. This shows that he knows what he is about to do is wrong, but he does it anyway. Before the murder he makes the speech about angels 'blowing trumpets' and 'riding' through the air as if they're 'announcing' his guilt. The angel imagery suggests what he is doing is against the will of God - i.e. God will denounce publicly what he has done.

2) On the note of being against God, consider the play's historical context. The reigning monarch at the time was James I, who believed and promoted the 'Divine Right of Kings'. This was the belief that a King was ordained by God and was basically always right (google it for more good info). Therefore, wanting to please James I, Shakespeare puts a lot of subtle messages in Macbeth about the murder of Duncan being particularly evil because by killing the rightful King, Macbeth is driving a rift through divine order.

Macbeth is frequently talked about as not 'fitting' the role of a king. Near the end of the play Macduff and his army mention Macbeth's clothes, something along the lines of he is a 'small man in giant's robes'. This suggests he does not 'fit' the clothes and metaphorically doesn't 'fit' the role of king. On the topic of clothes not fitting/being a metaphor for not 'fitting' a role, right at the beginning when he becomes Thane of Cawdor Macbeth asks, 'why do you dress me in borrowed robes?'
Duncan himself is described in terms related to God - when they discover his body it is described as being 'silver and gold' and as a 'temple' - royal/religious imagery that suggests by murdering the rightful monarch Macbeth has committed an atrocity against the divine.

3) Consider the scene where Banquo's ghost reappears. The ghost is a literal manifestation of his guilt. (As is the blood on his hands - think back to his earlier quote 'all of Neptune's ocean' will not wash it away. This also becomes a big issue for Lady M and ultimately drives her insane.)
Banquo's ghost symbolises lots of things to do with guilt. He's sat in Macbeth's seat - he cannot be ignored, he is specifically targeting Macbeth, he is covered in injuries that Macbeth cannot have literally seen for himself (remember, he hired hitmen to kill him) - so is this Macbeth's guilty imagination running wild? The ghost also doesn't speak at all - but Macbeth fills the silence with continuous questions directed at the ghost. This one-sided conversation shows his guilt running away with him.

4) Consider what caused Macbeth to kill Duncan in the first place. Yes, the witches told him he would become King. But it was him that made this happen, not them. Duncan didn't just drop dead randomly, Macbeth decided independently to kill him. This leads us to question the role of the witches and whether they actually cause things to happen at all - they predict things, but human beings put them into action. In the earlier scenes Macbeth talks a lot about his 'vaulting ambition', 'over-leaping' etc. Consider his ambition and its involvement in his guilt.

The witches are associated with the Devil and therefore, temptation. Macbeth is guilty because he takes on board their words, even though it's very obvious they are evil and should be avoided (just think about their appearance). Back to historical context, James I was absolutely obsessed with witches - he ordered 'witch trials' in England in which usually old/poor women suspected of witchcraft were rounded up large-scale and murdered. He even believed that 300 witches plotted to kill him. (again, google this). James' anti-witch beliefs meant he believed that people should avoid witches, not listen to them and take their advice - so Macbeth is also doing wrong in this way.

5) Notice that Lady M and Macbeth 'swap roles' in terms of their 'murderousness' about half-way through the play. Initially, it's Lady M that drives her husband to kill Duncan. But when they are discussing the murder of Banquo, Lady M is reluctant and Macbeth now the driving force - he tells her 'not to worry about it' and puts his own plan into action. Macbeth can be seen to 'grow' as an evil character in the play: for the first murder (Duncan) he is reluctant, for the second (Banquo and Fleance) he actively plans and thinks about it, and the third (Macduff's wife and children) he orders the deaths of an innocent young family quickly and without much thought at all. The 'escalation' of his murderous tendencies could be another aspect of his guilt.

Hope this helps. Good luck!



thank you so much for spending time on this! i appreciate it and will use these points!!
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z_o_e
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YOu could also use the quote "Will all Neptunes oceans wash this blood clean from my hands"

Lady M says "Who would have thought the old man to have so much blood in him, oh , oh , oh!"
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