Macbeth: Macbeth and Banquo Essay examples

Submitted By prediya-k
Words: 1202
Pages: 5

An analysis of your impression on the witches, how they set the scene for Macbeth and how they impact him and Banquo We are greeted to ‘a desolate place’ with ‘thunder and lightning’ when we first meet with the three witches. Shakespeare has created a sinister and abandoned atmosphere, which could be foreshadowing the future. The introduction of the first scene begins with pathetic fallacy, ‘thunder and lightning’ and this could be associated with danger, forces or a storm. The witches set an atmosphere one of spookiness and suspense.

The first impression one has in this scene is that something dreadful is about to happen as these three unearthly witches are talking about meeting with Macbeth. Even before we first see him, we know there is a collision course between Macbeth and some supernatural power.

In this scene we have phrases like, ’When the battle's lost and won’ or at the end of the scene, ‘Fair is foul, and foul is fair’. These contradictory phrases are misinterpreting the truth so this suggests that the witches are quite vague. Shakespeare has worded the supernatural creatures’ dialogue in an unclear way to the reader and the characters, which will become definite later on in the play. This captivates the reader and creates suspense. The combination of short lines and rhyming couplets has the effect of making these lines sound like spells and creates an eerie atmosphere.

The witches are made out as being all-powerful creatures that not only know the future but also control all of Macbeth's thoughts and actions. Later on, we see that the thoughts Macbeth has of killing Duncan results in the king’s death. The three witches are essentially tempting Macbeth with these thoughts, predictions and actions but ultimately Macbeth is the one who has chosen to kill and they cannot physically make him choose evil. He himself has decided to opt for evil over good.

In Act 1, scene 3 we meet with the witches and again we are in a deserted ‘heath’ with ‘thunder’. This echoes ‘desolate place’ and shows the power of evil and the elements.

At the beginning of the scene Macbeth enters saying, "So fair and foul a day I have not seen." We see the verbal connection with the witches' equivocation from the first scene, suggesting strongly that there's some kind of supernatural connection. The witches hail Macbeth, first as the ‘Thane of Glamis,’ then ‘Thane of Cawdor,’ and finally as ‘King hereafter’. Macbeth is in an utter daze and cannot believe what the witches have said to him could possibly be true. Banquo then starts getting curious and asks the witches, what his future predictions are. He is not afraid or undone by them, unlike Macbeth. The witches' statements to Macbeth were straightforward. With Banquo, the witches speak in equivocations: ‘Lesser than Macbeth, but greater./ Not so happy, yet much happier./ Thou shalt get kings, though thou be none. Banquo is lesser than Macbeth in that he is not rewarded with a new title as Macbeth is; however, he is ‘greater’ in the sense that he behaves more morally than his friend. Banquo is ‘not so happy’ in the sense that he does not live as long as Macbeth, but in terms of the pain suffered, Banquo is ‘much happier’. The final prediction is that Banquo will not be king himself yet his descendants will. Angus and Ross praise Macbeth's heroic action in flowery language and give Macbeth the big news that he is now the Thane of Cawdor. Banquo's immediate reaction to this is, ‘What, can the devil speak true?’ suggesting, that the witches were behind this reward. Macbeth's reaction at line is "why do you dress me/In borrowed robes?" Macbeth is trying to say that you're putting fine clothes on me that don't belong to me. This introduces the theme of Macbeth wearing clothes that do not fit, pretending to be something he is not which increases the thought of how appearances can be deceptive. Macbeth is having horrible thoughts about killing the king. ‘My thought,