Macbeth, Macduff and Banquo

Compare and contrast Macbeth, Macduff, and Banquo. How are they alike? How are they different? Is it possible to argue that Macbeth is the play’s villain and Macduff or Banquo its hero, or is the matter more complicated than that?



  1. Macduff is a fictional character in Shakespeare’s play Macbeth.

    A Scottish nobleman hostile to Macbeth’s kingship from the start. After his family and servants are murdered, he becomes a leader of the crusade to unseat Macbeth. The crusade’s mission is to crown the rightful king, Malcolm. He is the Thane of Fife, and flees to England to join up with Malcolm, the son of King Duncan. This occurs when he begins to suspect that King Duncan was slain by Macbeth. He later fights Macbeth during the war to take back the throne. It had been prophesied that Macbeth could not be killed by any “man of woman born,” but Macduff reveals he was born by Caesarean section, and kills him.

    While Macduff is a fictional character, the MacDuff Clan were the most powerful family in Fife in the medieval ages. The ruins of Macduff’s Castle now lie in East Wemyss cemetery.

    Banquo is a character in William Shakespeare’s 1606 play Macbeth. Banquo is at first a friend to Macbeth, and they are together when they meet the Three Witches. After prophesying that Macbeth will become king, the witches tell Banquo that he will not be king himself, but that his descendants will be. Later, Macbeth sees Banquo as a threat to his lust for power and has him murdered; Banquo’s son Fleance, however, escapes. Banquo’s ghost returns in a later scene, causing Macbeth to react with alarm.

    Shakespeare borrowed the character of Banquo from Holinshed’s Chronicles, a history of Britain published by Raphael Holinshed in 1587. In Chronicles, however, Banquo is an accomplice to Macbeth in the murder of the king, rather than a loyal subject of the king who is seen as an enemy by Macbeth. Shakespeare may have changed this aspect of his character in order to please King James I, who was said to be a descendant of the real Banquo.

    MacBeth is the main character in William Shakespeare’s The Tragedy of Macbeth shows dramatic changes throughout the course of the play. He starts off as a valiant General in the Scottish army praised by King Duncan for his bravery, loyalty and heroism. As the play progresses however, he demonstrates more unethical characteristics which eventually lead to his ultimate demise.

  2. they are alike in that they all have some authority and power but they are different because macbeth is a villain and is obsessed with power and the other two are in controo and are happy with wat they got

  3. Macduff and Banquo are in the sense hero’s of the play and Macbeth at times seems to be the villian, all though the matter is more complicated then simply Macbeth is a villian and Macduff and Banquo are hero’s because Macbeth is not a cold blooded killer, he is aware of the actions that he takes and in the sense regrets his desicions but will not back down once he has started. Banquo dies beacuse of what he knows and this is proving that he is a hero in that sense, Macuff leads the army against Macbeth and even though he once was a friend has now turned into and ex friend.
    But even though this occurs, Macbeth is not nessesarily a villian, he feels and regrets his decisions but doesn’t want to be murdered himself, that is why he must kill Banquo to keep his secrets safe.
    this matter is hard to decide, and it proves that not all stories are seperated into evil and good or heros and villians.

  4. Macbeth, Macduff and Banquo are similar in a way that they all seem to want power. Macbeth gets it being King, Macduff builds an army to take over Macbeth and Banquo is disappointed that he will never become King even though his descendants will. The differences between them however are great. Macbeth will kill to get his power, Macduff builds his army for a good cause to overcome Macbeth and Banquo doesn’t do anything about his situation even though he longs for the power.

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