Macbeth Act 3 Scene 1 Summary and Notes

Act 3 Scene 1 Summary – Banquo reflects on the witches prophecies. – He suspects that macbeth obtained the crown through treachury.- Macbeth and Lady Macbeth arrive.- Macbeth pretends that he needs Banquos advice on how to deal with malcolm and Donelbain, who are abroad and spreading rumours.- He learns details of Banquos planned Journey with his son fleance.- Alone, Macbeth reveals that he fears banquo.- The thought of Banquos offspring becoming kings is unacceptable to him.- Two murderers are brought in. – Macbeth outlines to the, the reasons why banquo is their mutual enemy.- They agree to murder him and fleance.
Why is this scene important? Shakespeare shows us more about the character of banquo, unlike Macbeth, who is obsessed by the witches prophecies, Banquo fears foul play.Shakespeare reveals the kind of rule Macbeth offers, brutal and treacherous. He is pretending to honour and value banquo, his former comrade in arms, Macbeth casually works out his movements to entrap and murder him and his son.We see Macbeth persuading others to commit crimes with the same key argument by which he himself was tempted, namely to prove their manhood.
Who is the key character in this scene? Macbeth is the key character in this scene.Shakespeare demonstrates the depths to which Macbeth has sunk through his conversation with the murderers, here is a great warrior hero who now has to meet the most vicious and corrupt kind of men in secret in order both to disguise and achieve his ends.The fact that he despises these men is shown in the way that he addresses them.He interrupts the first murderers solemn declaration of loyalty with the ironic ‘your spirit shines through you’. This suggests his contempt for the men.In act 3 scene 3 we learn that Macbeth has employed a third murderer, showing how little he actually trusts the first two.
Key Quotes and Meanings ‘Why by the verities on thee made good, may they not be on my oracles as well, and set me up in hope? But hush! No more.’ – BanquoTheme – Ambition Banquo hopes the predictions will come true. He is ambitious but unlike Macbeth, he isn’t corrupted by his ambition.Verities – Things that are true.
Key Quotes and Meanings ‘Here’s our chief guest’ ‘Ride you this afternoon?’ Theme – Reality and Appearances Macbeth’s flattering Banquo to make him feel safe and to find out his whereabouts so he can have him murdered that evening.
Key quotes and Meanings ‘As far, my Lord, as will fill up the time twixt this and supper’I’ll ride as far as I can between now and supper.
Key Quotes and Meanings ‘ to be thus is nothing, but to be safely thus’Being King isn’t enough I don’t feel secure.
Character – Macbeth In Act 1 Macbeth was shocked by the thought of murdering Duncan. There is no hesitation when ordering the killing of Banquo. Murder has become easy.
Theme – Fate ‘Rather than so, come fate into the list. And Champion me to the utterance!’Macbeth speaks as if he is challenging fate to a fight.
Character – Macbeth ‘Know that it was he, in the times past, which held you so under fortune, which you thought had been our innocent self’.Macbeth tricks the murderers into killing Banquo, he claims that Banquo is responsible for ruining their lives.
Quotes ‘Half a soul’ – ‘a fool”Passed in probation with you’ – ‘I showed to you”Clept’ – ‘Called’
Quotes ‘Grapples you to the heart and love of us, who wear our health but sickly in his life, which in his death were perfect’I will be sick as long as Banquo lives, only his death can make me healthy.
‘I am one, my liege, whom the vile blows and buffets of the world. Have so incensed that I am reckless what I do to spite the world’. The suffering in my life has made me so angry that I’ll do anything to get back at the world.
‘It is concluded, Banquo, thy souls flight, if it find heaven, must find it out tonight’. Macbeth speaks in a rhyming couplet in the last two lines of the scene. This makes him sound decisive, and reminds the audience of the last lines of act 2, scene 3.
Character – Banquo Macbeth says some very nice things about Banquo in this scene. Macbeth claims that Banquo has a ‘royalty of nature’ ‘wisdom’ and ‘valour’ . One of the reasons why Shakespeare might have Macbeth say these things is that the real Banquo was thought to be an ancestor of King James 1.