Theme Of Banquo's Death In Macbeth

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The title character of William Shakespeare’s Scottish tragedy, Macbeth, undergoes severe altering of both his mental state and his mental health as a whole. This deterioration is most pronounced around the time of Banquo’s death and after his wife’s death, and can be attributed to the persistently worsening hallucinations the long dead king sees throughout the play. The ordering of Banquo’s death is proof of something changing deep within Macbeth. Although he had already murdered King Duncan for his own gain, he had been under the influence of the incredibly ambitious Lady Macbeth, and is only partially to blame for the regicide. Ordering the three murderers to kill Banquo and his son, Fleance, was Macbeth’s idea and his idea alone. The …show more content…
It is evident that the newly coronated Macbeth had already become slightly paranoid. In Act I, Scene III, the witches mention that Banquo will father a line of kings, though he himself will not be one. Since Macbeth had just killed King Duncan and now sits on the throne, it does make some sense that he would be afraid that someone new will become king the same way he did. However, it is clearly stated that Banquo will not become the king, so he is not someone that Macbeth should feel the need to be worry about for the time being. This drastic difference between Macbeth’s thought process before killing King Duncan and the ordering of Banquo’s death already shows his sanity slipping. This suspected downward spiral is confirmed when Macbeth sees Banquo’s ghost sitting in his seat at the banquet. It is evident that Macbeth’s guilt is affecting him deeply, and that the Scottish King is slowly but surely losing his grasp on both reality and sanity.
Macbeth provides an equally odd and troubling reaction during the last act of the play, where he is told by Seyton that his wife is dead. Macbeth responds
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Hallucinations are, and should continue to be, an enormous red flag when it comes to one’s mental condition, and some form of assistance should be sought out at once. Macbeth’s visions worsen as the play continues, and they take a heavy toll on his health. In Act II Scene I, Macbeth sees a floating dagger pointed in King Duncan’s direction as he is making his hesitant way over to kill him. After the regicide is committed, Macbeth hears nonexistent voices as he makes his way to bed. He is, and understandably so, left frightened and anxious due to the hallucinations. The visions themselves combined with the anxiety and paranoia they invoke are a recipe for utter disaster. The disturbance left by the hallucinations is what ultimately caused the modification in Macbeth’s mental state that granted him the gall to order for Banquo’s death, as discussed prior. In consequence to Banquo’s murder, Macbeth sees his friend’s ghost sitting in his spot at his post-coronation banquet. Upon seeing the visitant, he is left with a heightened sense of paranoia and distrust towards those around him. Though Lady Macbeth attempts to assure her guests that her spouse is perfectly fine, it is evident to both herself and the audience that something is horribly wrong. These startling images emerge afresh in Act IV, through

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