Act 3 Scene 1 Soliloquy Jeremy, Melissa, and Cate Beforehand • 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 threat. This is the beginning of a tyranny. --Our fears in Banquo Stick deep; and in his royalty of nature 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 him, My Genius is rebuked; as, it is said, 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 murder'd; 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 kings! 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.