English Lit Macbeth - pls could any1 give feedback? Watch

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Report Thread starter 1 year ago
I am absolutely terrible at answering the literature questions so, if possible, would anyone be able to have a read of an answer I just attempted to draft and maybe give me some constructive feedback please? Thanks so much!
P.S. I know the ideas don't really link, I just don't really know how to form a literature answer and this is only my second or third attempt haha

What is the relationship between Macbeth and Banquo like?

Throughout the play, Macbeth and Banquo's relationship can be seen as mutual, yet unspoken, mistrust. In the extract given, Banquo is shown to have doubts of Macbeth when he speaks of him being 'rapt' and how his new titles were 'like out strange garments,' in the way that they do not fit him. In this metaphor, the phrase 'strange garments,' gives off the impression that Banquo has suspicion and doesn't believe that this role Macbeth has taken upon himself is permanent, similar to how an item of clothing is only worn for a limited amount of time. This clothing imagery is repeated throughout the play and may reflect upon Banquo's doubts and suspicions over Macbeth's reaction to the witches' prophecies. Whilst both characters are initially both seen as equals, when they are both described as honourable 'captains' after fighting their way to success in the first scene, Shakespeare shows suspicion arising from Banquo - a seemingly perfect character - to create a contrast between good and evil.

Later in the play in Act 3 scene 1, Macbeth also shows his unexposed mistrust in Banquo when he refers to Banquo as his 'chief guest,' yet follows these remarks by stating how his 'fears in Banquo stick deep,' following his plot to murder him. This therefore highlights a similarity of how Macbeth shows his appreciation for his partner in person but mentally feels mistrust towards him. In this soliloquy, Macbeth also states how 'his royalty of nature Reigns that which would be fear'd.' This metaphor alludes to how Banquo's natural nobility is overpowering and feared by Macbeth to the point of him wanting to murder Banquo. The word 'nature' is used as it reflects upon how Banquo is virtuous by nature rather than by force. This therefore contrasts with the forced act of loyalty Macbeth must pretend to have, previously shown by the clothing imagery primarily stated by Banquo and how Macbeth must act in a manner opposite to his intentions.

This contrast is used by Shakespeare because Banquo's resistance to the influence of evil serves to highlight Macbeth's failure to resist and foregrounds his tendency towards evil. This again alludes to Banquo's mistrust of Macbeth due to his submission with the supernatural. During the 1600's, the king was seen as the image of God and, by hinting towards the murder of King Duncan, the audience would have feared Macbeth as a sin against the king was also a sin against God. Macbeth, however, is also shown by Shakespeare to have similarities to Banquo as Macbeth describes the 'dauntless temper of [Banquo's] mind,' and how Macbeth is earlier described as 'Bellona's brimegroom.' Both of these quotes reflect on the similar courage of both of the characters which is used by Shakespeare to show the nature of how courage and ambition can be dealt with in two very contrasting manners.

On the otherhand, Shakespeare uses the characters similar courage to contrast Macbeth to Banquo, who remains in the favoured role. In the extract, Macbeth first speaks of his ideas of murder when he states, 'whose murder is yet so fantastical'. This would have shocked a highly religious 17th century audience who, as previously stated, believed the King was appointed by God so an action against the King would too be against God. In comparison to Macbeth in this extract, Banquo is shown to be clueless as he misinterprets Macbeths evil intentions to be Macbeth in a state of confusion when he draws the audiences attention to his 'partner's rapt'. Whilst the audience have knowledge of Macbeth's evil intentions, Banquo's innocence to even the idea of murdering the King demonstrates to the audience that the temptations of the witches may be successfully resisted.
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Report 1 year ago
It is a pretty good response; perhaps include a intro and conc, also give multiple interpretations. Maybe add more context.

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