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Flashcards in Banquo Deck (9)
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1

"Oftentimes, to win us to our harm,The instruments of darkness tell us truths ... to betray's In deepest consequence." Banquo 1.3

The use of the metaphor "instruments of darkness" alludes to how the Witches are used as tools for evil but could also imply how the witches could be seen as alluring or pleasing (as they are described as "instruments"), so this could imply that the witches are perhaps enticing Macbeth with their lies. Through the superlative "deepest", Shakespeare emphasises Banquo's scepticism of the witches, which is further emphasised by the verb "betray" displaying Banquo as a rational and pragmatic person". Consequently, this is also foreshadowing how Macbeth will soon become obsessed with power through the act of killing.
AO3 - the audience at the time would fear witches so Banquo would gain their sympathy and respect here.

2

“There’s husbandry in heaven; there candles are all out” 2.1

• The use of pathetic fallacy creates an sinister and mysterious ambience which echoes Lady Macbeths “come thick night” and Macbeth’s “stars hide your fires” declaring how the murder of Duncan is about to happen and symbolisises the moral darkness of Lady Macbeth and Macbeth

3

That look not like the inhabitants o' the earth, And yet are on't?" 1.3

Reinforces the unearthly appearance and ambiguous reality of the witches and also shows how cautious and disinterested Banquo is compared to Macbeth who is "rapt withal" and responds with "tell me more" when the witches prophesy to him

4

“merciful powers, restrain in me the cursed thoughts” 2.1

• Contrast to Macbeth “stars hide my fires” and lady Macbeth “ unsex me ”
• Adjective “merciful” has connotations of compassion and forgiveness insinuating that he is talking to God. The fact that Banquo calls on to God instead of the “spirits that tend on mortal thoughts” depicts his holy and righteous persona, therefore making the audience see him in good light
• (need to talk about King james)
• The verb “restrain” implies that his desire to become king is so strong that he needs to be forcefully stopped – the fact that he is asking to be stopped shows loyalty to the throne and further portrays him as virtuous
• The adjective “cursed” displays his wisdom as he is aware of the negative consequences that will arise as a result to regicide in contrasts to Macbeth’s foolish impulsiveness to kill the king.

5

“My bosom franchised and allegiance clear” 2.1

• ‘allegiance clear’ suggests that he will not let ambition or the witches prophecies affect him.
• Shows that conscience is more important to him than power and glory
• By the adjective ‘clear’ he means clear of sin or guilt, so he is firmly telling Macbeth that he will not be corrupted whilst still wording it carefully so as not to offend Macbeth.

6

‘In the great hand of God I stand’ (2.3)

• Following the murder of Duncan Banquo says he will fight for justice from this position with God on his side
• Metaphor emphasising his moral purity in contrast to Macbeth
• Image of the hand implies he has God’s blessing or protection wrapped around him
• Or it could be read as he is acting as God’s hand – God’s tool via which the sacrilege of regicide can be challenged.

7

“I fear though played’st most foully for it” 3.1

• Shows Banquo’s growing suspicion however he doesn’t act upon it which serves as his hamartia
• Through the use of the adjective “foully” the audience is reminded of the witches “fair is foul” which again aligns Macbeth with evil
• The use of fricatives alliteration conveys his concern

8

“But that myself should be the root and father of many kings.”

• Through this quote, we can sense greed and ambition also brewing inside Banquo, showing witches have a negative effect even of the best of people. This supports King James 1’s idea on witches which was expressed through his book on Demonology and stirs fear in the audience

9

“But hush! no more” 3.1

• Banquo during this soliloquy was adopting the same line of thinking Macbeth went down before he kills the king however Banquo realizes his evil intention brewing and stops himself before he goes down the path which portrays him as noble .