A Scottish nobleman, general, and friend of Macbeth. He is also the father of Fleance. The weird sisters prophesy that while Banquo will never be King of Scotland, his descendants will one day sit on the throne. Banquo is as ambitious as Macbeth, but unlike Macbeth he resists putting his selfish ambition above his honor or the good of Scotland. Because he both knows the prophecy and is honorable, Banquo is both a threat to Macbeth and a living example of the noble path that Macbeth chose not to take. After Macbeth has Banquo murdered he is haunted by Banquo's ghost, which symbolizes Macbeth's terrible guilt at what he has become.
Banquo Quotes in Macbeth
The Macbeth quotes below are all either spoken by Banquo or refer to Banquo. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one: Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Simon & Schuster edition of Macbeth published in 2003.).
Banquo Character Timeline in Macbeth
The timeline below shows where the character Banquo appears in Macbeth. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 1, scene 2
Act 1, scene 3
Act 1, scene 4
Act 1, scene 6
Act 2, scene 1
Act 2, scene 3
...horror and runs onstage. Macbeth and Lennox ask what happened, then run to Duncan's chamber. Banquo, Malcolm, and Donalbain wake. Lady Macbeth enters, pretending not to know what happened, and expressing... (full context)
Act 3, scene 1
The two men (identified in the stage directions as "murderers") enter. Macbeth tells them it's Banquo's fault they're poor, then questions their manhood for bearing such offenses. The murderers agree to... (full context)
Act 3, scene 2
Act 3, scene 3
Act 3, scene 4
Act 3, scene 6
...talk sarcastically about Macbeth and the too great similarities between the murders of Duncan and Banquo, with Donalbain and Malcolm accused of the first and Fleance blamed for the second. (full context)
Act 4, scene 1
Act 5, scene 1
...and gentlewoman watch as Lady Macbeth then relives conversations with Macbeth after the murder of Banquo and hears an imaginary knocking and rushes off to bed. The doctor says the disease... (full context)