why does macbeth want banquo and fleance dead

Macbeth has Banquo murdered because he knows that he is suspicious that Macbeth might have killed Duncan. P He also was told by the witches that Banqos sons would be king. P This is the reason why he kills Fleance as well. Even though Macbeth kills Duncan and takes the throne, he does not feel peace. P He is worried that he will be suspected, and that Banquo knows too much. P Remember, Banquo was there when the witches made their prophecy about Macbeth being king, and they also made their prophecy about Banqos sons being king.


Stick deep, and in his royalty of nature
Reigns that which would be fear'd. (Act 3, Scene 1, enotes etext p. 42). Macbeth considers Banquo a threat because the witches said his sons would be kings. P This annoys Macbeth, who says they placed a fruitless crown upon his head.


Macbeth makes sure the murders know Banquo is their enemy. So is he mine, and in such bloody distance Against my near'st of life: (Act 3, Scene 1, p. 44) Macbeth cannot kill Banquo and Fleance himself, because they are friends and they have friends in common. P So he hires the murders to do it. P After all, to Macbethto be thus is nothing/But to be safely thus (p. 42).


P In other words, what is the point of being king unless he is safe from enemies and potential enemies? 1. Banquo has kingly qualities that makes him a threat to Macbeth. Banquo s mere presense seems to force back Macbeth s ruling spirit. Example: In ancient Rome, Octavious Caesar, who became emperor, had the same effect on his rival, Mark Antony. 2.


And then the fact that Macbeth had no children and Banquo did made things worse for him. Macbeth didn t like that Banquo had something he didn t and he also didn t like that his power would be passed on to someone that was outside his family. So in order for that not to happen, Macbeth takes matters into his own hands. How? By killing Banquo and trying to kill Fleance. Does that help at all?

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