We hear of Banquo before we meet him in Shakespeare’s Macbeth. In Act 1, Scene 2, a wounded sergeant describes how Macbeth and his fellow general Banquo fought bravely for King Duncan “as cannons overcharged with double cracks” (1.2.41), meaning they fought twice as hard as the enemy. This tells us that Banquo’s main qualities are his bravery and loyalty to king and country. This mirrors the description we get of Macbeth in the first scenes. Both Macbeth and Banquo are Duncan’s generals, brave soldiers, and seemingly friends with one another.

However, in Act 1, Scene 3 we start seeing the differences between Banquo and Macbeth. While Macbeth reacts with shock and conviction upon hearing the witches’ predictions, Banquo is much more practical and sceptical. He scolds the witches when they first only deliver a prophecy for his ...

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