Banquo's Selfishness In Macbeth

Decent Essays
The protagonist of a story is traditionally the brave and valiant hero of the story. This is not the case in William Shakespeare’s tragedy, Macbeth. In Macbeth the protagonist, Macbeth, starts out as a brave soldier as well as the thane of Glamis in Scotland, who is relatively content. But after he and his brother in arms Banquo encounter three witches, called the Weïrd sisters, who tell them that Macbeth is to become the thane of Cawdor and later king of Scotland, Macbeth wonders if the Weïrd sisters are right, although Banquo is skeptical. Later that same day, King Duncan of Scotland appoints Macbeth the new thane of Cawdor. This excites Macbeth, while Banquo remains skeptical. Macbeth becomes ambitious which leads him to do many terrible …show more content…
Macbeth’s selfishness came mostly from his desire for the Scottish crown. His first selfish act was the homicide of King Duncan. Although Macbeth’s had to persuade Macbeth to murder Duncan, it took very little persuasion as Macbeth, being the thane of Cawdor, knew he was next in line for the throne and Macbeth had already thought about killing Duncan, because Duncan had appointed his son as the heir to the throne and the only way Macbeth could become King was if Duncan died soon. Next Macbeth had Banquo murdered. Macbeth hired murderers to kill Banquo and one of his sons, Fleance, after he became King of Scotland to secure his crown because the Weïrd sisters had said that Banquo was to father a long line of Scottish kings, meaning that one of his sons must become king. Although the murderers failed to kill Fleance, they succeeded in murdering Banquo. And finally, Macbeth had Macduff’s family murdered. Macduff was conspiring with Duncan’s sons and others to dethrone the tyrannous Macbeth. Macduff also suspected that Macbeth had murdered Duncan and Fleance. Therefore, Macbeth hired more assassins to kill Macduff’s family and seize his castle. They succeeded in slaughtering his wife and all his children as well as his staff. Macbeth did all these terrible things for his own selfish ambition and his unbridled desire for the …show more content…
After murdering Duncan in his sleep, Macbeth was supposed to leave the knives he used with Duncan’s chamberlains to frame them. But Macbeth left the room in a daze and was shaking in shock and fear of what he had done. Lady Macbeth, his wife, tried to get him to collect himself and take the knives back and plant them on the chamberlains. Macbeth was too afraid and would not go, forcing Lady Macbeth to do it herself. Even after murdering Duncan himself, Macbeth could not ‘finish the job’, because he was too afraid, a coward. Also, instead of killing Banquo, Fleance, Lady Macduff and her children himself like a real man, he hired others to do it, while he sat away in his castle like a coward. He wouldn’t kill them himself, and was unable to deal with the guilt, even when he himself did not commit the act. For example, after he was told that Banquo had been successfully murdered, Macbeth began to see visions of Banquo’s ghost, and was terrified that he was back for revenge. He also had fits ever since he killed Duncan. Macbeth is a coward who could not handle killing people himself and could not handle the guilt. In conclusion, the protagonist of William Shakespeare’s tragedy, Macbeth, displays none of the usual characteristics of a protagonist as he is selfish, impatient, and cowardly. Out of these traits came horrific acts that haunted Macbeth till his

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