Act 3 Scene 1 Soliloquy

Act 3 Scene 1 Soliloquy
Jeremy, Melissa, and Cate
• Macbeth has killed Duncan and been
crowned king. However, he is still disturbed
by Banquo's prophecy of his children
succeeding the throne rather than his own.
Banquo is suspicious and thinks Macbeth
cheated in order to have the prophecies of
the witches come true.
To be thus is nothing;
But to be safely thus.
To Macbeth, being the
king means nothing if he
cannot be safe as the
king; he wants to keep his
power as long as possible.
He sees Banquo as a
This is the beginning of a
--Our fears in Banquo
Stick deep; and in his royalty of
Reigns that which would be
fear’d: ‘tis much he dares;
Macbeth expresses his
strong concern with
Banquo's prophecy, and is
afraid he is plotting against
him to take the throne for his
own children.
And, to that dauntless temper of his mind,
He hath a wisdom that doth guide his valour
To act in safety.
Macbeth comments on Banquo's
fearlessness and complements
his virtues and soldier qualities.
However, this makes him
"dangerous" in Macbeth's mind.
Banquo is the only person that
Macbeth fears.
There is none but he
Whose being I do fear: and, under
My Genius is rebuked; as, it is
Mark Antony's was by Caesar.
Macbeth fears that Banquo will
do something so that his
bloodline can take power from
Macbeth sooner.
Genius: "guiding spirit"
Allusion "Mark Antony's was by
Caesar": Antony was defeated by
Ceaser. Macbeth comments that
Antony's own "Genius" (or spirit)
must have felt as Macbeth's
presently does.
He chid the sisters
When first they put the name of king upon me,
And bade them speak to him: then prophet-like.
They hail'd him father to a line of kings:
Upon my head they placed a fruitless crown,
And put a barren sceptre in my gripe,
Thence to be wrench'd with an unlineal hand,
No son of mine succeeding.
Macbeth recalls Banquo's
jealousy when Macbeth
received his prophecy of
becoming king
Macbeth is now jealous of
Banquo's prophecy of
"fathering a line of kings"
The throne will not be passed
down to any of Macbeth's
relatives, instead, Banquo's
sons will take over the power.
This irritates him. He
emphasizes this with the next
few lines.
If 't be so,
For Banquo's issue have I filed my mind;
For them the gracious Duncan have I
Put rancours in the vessel of my peace
Only for them; and mine eternal jewel
Given to the common enemy of man,
To make them kings, the seed of Banquo
Macbeth thinks by killing
Duncan, he has made it
easier for Banquo's family to
take the throne from him.
His reasoning:
He has killed a great king
and in doing so "poisoned"
his peace by giving his soul to
the devil (through murdering
Duncan) and therefore
opening up an opportunity for
Banquo's sons to succeed the
throne instead.
Personification of fate
Rather than so, come fate into
the list.
And champion me to the
utterance! Who's there!
Macbeth challenges fate and later
attempts to defy the witches'
predictions by planning Banquo's
assassination. It contrasts Duncan's
murder in that previously, Macbeth
did that to fulfill the prophecy.
He no longer believes in fate, since it
is no longer in his favor.
Meaning of the play as a whole
•By the end of his soliloquy, Macbeth has decided he
needs to kill Banquo to prevent the second part of
the witches’ prophecy from coming true.
•The soliloquy reveals Macbeth’s moral decline;
power corrupts. Before, he felt conflicted and then
guilty about killing Duncan, but he is now
remorseless about killing Banquo.
•Macbeth has begun to act more like Lady Macbeth.

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