At scene three, Macbeth and Banquo both are shocked by the appearance of the witches. They greet Macbeth and inform him that he will become Thane of Cawdor and also King of Scotland. Macbeth is ‘rapt withal’ when he heard this; ‘so foul and fair a day I have not seen’-echoes with the witches. Whilst Macbeth is stunned by these prophecies, Banquo demands they inform him of his future. His reactions is opposite from Macbeth and is straight with the witches, not terrified nor begging; he reacts calmly and asks ‘how far is’t called to Forres?’ and what will happen to him. He is told that he will not be king, his offspring will be. Macbeth recovers from his ‘trance’ and insists that the witches explain they know these things, since they are frankly incredible. But the witches vanish as abruptly as they came. Macbeth was keen to hear more of this ‘strange intelligence’ that he claimed ‘stay, you imperfect speakers!’ to know how he will become the king.
Macbeth and Banquo briefly discuss the ‘insane’ revelations they have just heard, and at that point Ross and Angus arrive to convey thanks from King Duncan. However, they discuss about the Witches prophecies like jokes mentioning ‘your children shall be kings’; but the ‘thane’ and ‘king’ still makes it seem serious. Banquo is an honest man and he shares everything with Macbeth. Macbeth does not share his thought of the witches’ prophecies which leads him to the wrong path. Ross tells Macbeth ‘in which addition, hail, most worthy thane! – for it is thine’ which means that Macbeth is now the Thane of Cawdor. Macbeth and Banquo are both amazed, and we begin to see Macbeth’s ambition unfolding through the asides. Banquo warns of the danger of trusting such supernatural messages as they are ‘devils’ to him, but Macbeth is lost in his own thoughts, thinking through all the implications. Banquo still could not believe the witches that ‘tis strange-and often, to win us to our harm’ and is worried about Macbeth. Eventually, he is stirred and agrees to ride towards the king. In private to Banquo, he suggests they speak about the revelations at some future point, which Banquo agrees to.
In this essay I am to discuss the statement Lady Macbeth is the real driving force behind the murder of King Duncan and decide whether I believe this viewpoint is correct or whether I believe that there were other influences on the dagger hand of the Thane of Cawdor. To come to a decision and accomplish my task, I will be looking at the events leading up to the murder and the characters involved ...
Banquo’s description of the witches is important in seeing how unnatural they are; they seem to be women but are not. It is Banquo who thinks they are evil; ‘what! Can the devil speak true?’ whereas Macbeth does not. The soliloquy beginning ‘Two truths are told’ shows that Macbeth all too quickly, following his accession as Thane of Cawdor, begins that process of imagining the steps he will need to take-that is regicide to become the king. We could see clearly from this scene that Banquo is the moral of the figure and Macbeth is immoral that he could not win against his desire.