Macbeth Essay

The play Macbeth by William Shakespeare is about an audacious Scottish General named Macbeth who deeply desires power and progression. He kills Duncan against his better judgment and consequently lives his life in guilt and fear of being killed. Banquo is a foil to Macbeth because on one hand there are similarities between them, yet, on the other hand Macbeths ambition creates a major difference between them.
Both Macbeth and Banquo are similar to each other because of their skills as warriors. Duncan speaks great things about Macbeth and Banquo as they fought the war. As Duncan asks if Macbeth and Banquo were distressed during the war, the Captain says, “Yes, as sparrows, eagles, or the hare, the lion. If I say sooth, I must report they were as cannons over-charged with double cracks.” (I, ii, 34-41). Macbeth and Banquo were also both courageous, strong, and successful; both served Duncan well in battle but Macbeth is ambitious for power. Banquo is ambitious for the power of knowing what was going to happen in his near future when he was talking to the witches. He says, “To me you speak not. If you can look into the seeds of time and say which grain will grow and which will not, speak then to me, who neither beg nor fear your favours nor your hate.” (I, iii, 55-59). Macbeth also craves power as one can see when he says, “The Greatest is behind.- Thanks for your pains.- Do you not hope your children shall be kings, when those that gave the Thane of Cawdor to me promised no less to them?” (I, iii, 115-116). Macbeth wants his children to become royalty after all the Kings in line die so that his family name will stay in power even after he dies.
Macbeth and Banquo also are very different from each other in their beliefs and feeling towards Duncan. Banquo is always going to be loyal to his country and believes Duncan is a great ruler. When Macbeth tells Banquo, “If you shall cleave to my consent, when ‘tis, it shall make honour for you.” (II, i, 25-29), Banquo...