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'Banquet Scene' in Macbeth by William Shakespeare

Macbeth – the Banquet Scene

William Shakespeare

'Banquet Scene' in Macbeth by William Shakespeare

Q. Bring out the significance of 'Banquet Scene' in Macbeth

Answer: In order to satisfy the popular taste of the contemporary audience for melodramatic presentations of materials on the stage, Shakespeare presents a popular spectacle on the stage in the form of Banquo’s ghost in Macbeth, which subsequently has come to generate numerous debates, reading and, of course, presentation on both the stage and the celluloid. However, the cast of Banquo, though subjective or objective, is variously debated.

The ghost, on the stage is only visible to Macbeth and the audience, both of whom understand the brutality involved in the murder, while the other characters are thought to be unaware of its presence. It may be understood that Banquo's ghost plays an important and integral role in the development of the drama's tragic action and in creating Macbeth's nemesis.

In the Banquet Scene (Act 3, scene 4) the Royal Hall of Scotland opens with a banquet prepared to celebrate Macbeth's coronation. The audience now find the couple at the height of their dual behaviour.

The fact is that Macbeth has forgotten his degree, his limitations as a human being. So the arrival of Banquo as a ghost is necessary to expose this traitor. But before that, betrayal has been highlighted in the feast. One can detect here a mocking change of the last supper given by Christ, the Saviour.

Indeed, Macbeth's act of assassinating the king and thus violating the moral order was re-enacted in the sanctification of a sacred rite, such as the offering of a communal feast, a rite seen as a gesture of bond of faith and brotherhood. Community is everywhere and always in human culture. Appropriately, the banquet announcement is annoyed and delayed by the arrival of the first killer at the door.

Macbeth's words and phrases, such as "you know your own degree" and "both sides are equal: here I sit in the middle" suggest a renewal of discipline and symmetry in Scotland, but the audience know that is not the case. Degree or rank was distorted by Macbeth, by assassinating the king and seizing his throne. The words of Lady Macbeth's role in Act I, Scene 6, disguise her true feelings. Again, Macbeth acts with dubious confidence. This confidence is about to leave Macbeth, however, as her dark secret returns to greet him as the first murderer.

At First, Macbeth is pleased with the murderer, telling him he is ‘the best’, ‘the nonpareil’ (without equal) but on hearing the unwelcome news that Fleance, Banquo’s son, escaped from his treachery, Macbeth’s language abruptly changes. This sudden change in Macbeth's behaviour reveals Macbeth’s sense of constraints, in contrast to the freedom which he claims to have enjoyed previously.

As a symbol of great discipline and generosity, the rich feast has now turned itself into a hellish parody. Instead of Macbeth sitting "in the middle", he distributes his vastness arbitrarily as his throne is acquired through the bloody appearance of his ex-friend. Macbeth's language reflects this change. The ghost seems to have risen from a tomb or "charnal-house." Macbeth doesn't understand why the dead should "come back to life" when his bones are "less marrow" and his blood is "cold". Finally, he challenges the very real form of "give me courage to dessert with your sword".

In contrast to Macbeth's urgent panic, the address of the horror scene is a relatively quiet moment. Each time the ghost disappears, Macbeth's relief is recorded in a softer, more lyrical expression. "Could such things happen / and blow us away like a summer cloud / without our special surprise?" (112-114). Indeed, the whole structure of this scene shows that a man is swaying from one state of mind to another, recalling the structure of the previous dagger discourse. Three times Macbeth has seen ghosts, and three times he has been seen restoring his senses. This alternative structure strongly adds to the impression of Macbeth losing control.

Lady Macbeth, on the other hand, is adamant in her judgment. Unlike Macbeth, he can't see the ghost and his voice is usually realistic and down to earth: "When it's all over, / you just look at a mall." He seems to want to calm her down, but his words of sympathy ignite. Once again, she scolded her husband for his apparent lack of masculinity. A certain, parallel incident with the murder scene occurs when Macbeth accuses his wife of "being able to keep the normal ruby ​​of your cheeks / when blanched (white) in my fear" (116 - 117). Here, the words ‘ruby’ and ‘blanched’ clearly remind us of the difference between the ‘red’ hand of Lady Macbeth murder and the ‘white’ heart of the coward.

With the departure of the guest, Macbeth seems to have regained some of his previous confidence. He has announced his decision to meet the strange sisters once again, of his own free will. His language is mysterious and prophetic in this fucking of the banquet scene. The brief scene is dominated by the late word 'blood' and the notion that the tide of murder has now begun which Macbeth does not have the strength to stop.


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