Banquo

Lord Banquo /ˈbæŋkwoʊ/, the Thane of Lochaber, is a character in William Shakespeare's 1606 play Macbeth. In the play, he is at first an ally to Macbeth (both are generals in the King's army) and they meet the Three Witches together. After prophesying that Macbeth will become king, the witches tell Banquo that he will not be king himself, but that his descendants will be. Later, Macbeth in his lust for power sees Banquo as a threat and has him murdered by two hired assassins; Banquo's son, Fleance, escapes. Banquo's ghost returns in a later scene, causing Macbeth to react with alarm during a public feast.

Shakespeare borrowed the character of Banquo from Holinshed's Chronicles, a history of Britain published by Raphael Holinshed in 1587. In Chronicles Banquo is an accomplice to Macbeth in the murder of the king, rather than a loyal subject of the king who is seen as an enemy by Macbeth. Shakespeare may have changed this aspect of his character to please King James, who was thought at the time to be a descendant of the real Banquo. Critics often interpret Banquo's role in the play as being a foil to Macbeth, resisting evil where Macbeth embraces it. Sometimes, however, his motives are unclear, and some critics question his purity. He does nothing to accuse Macbeth of murdering the king, even though he has reason to believe Macbeth is responsible.

Banquo
Thane of Lochaber
Macbeth character
Painting showing Elizabethan era men at a dining table, with a ghost sitting on one of the stools.
Théodore Chassériau (1819–1856), The Ghost of Banquo 1855
Created byWilliam Shakespeare
Date(s)ca. 1603–7
SourceHolinshed's Chronicles
Information
FamilyFleance, James I
Associate(s)Macbeth
QuoteOr have we eaten on the insane root
That takes the reason prisoner?

Sources

Macbeth and Banquo encountering the witches - Holinshed Chronicles
Macbeth and Banquo meeting the witches in a woodcut from Holinshed's Chronicles

Shakespeare often used Raphael Holinshed's Chronicles of England, Scotland, and Ireland—commonly known as Holinshed's Chronicles—as a source for his plays, and in Macbeth he borrows from several of the tales in that work.[1] Holinshed portrays Banquo as an historical figure: he is an accomplice in Mac Bethad mac Findlaích's (Macbeth's) murder of Donnchad mac Crínáin (King Duncan) and plays an important part in ensuring that Macbeth, not Máel Coluim mac Donnchada (Malcolm), takes the throne in the coup that follows.[2] Holinshed in turn used an earlier work, the Scotorum Historiae (1526–7) by Hector Boece, as his source. Boece's work is the first known record of Banquo and his son Fleance; and scholars such as David Bevington generally consider them fictional characters invented by Boece. In Shakespeare's day, however, they were considered historical figures of great repute, and the king, James I, based his claim to the throne in part on a descent from Banquo.[3] The House of Stuart was descended from Walter fitz Alan, Steward of Scotland, and he was believed to have been the grandson of Fleance and Gruffydd ap Llywelyn's daughter, Nesta ferch Gruffydd. In reality, Walter fitz Alan was the son of Alan fitz Flaad, a Breton knight.[4]

Unlike his sources, Shakespeare gives Banquo no role in the King's murder, making it a deed committed solely by Macbeth and his wife, Lady Macbeth. Why Shakespeare's Banquo is so different from the character described by Holinshed and Boece is not known, though critics have proposed several possible explanations. First among them is the risk associated with portraying the king's ancestor as a murderer and conspirator in the plot to overthrow a rightful king, as well as the author's desire to flatter a powerful patron. But Shakespeare may also simply have altered Banquo's character because there was no dramatic need for another accomplice to the murder. There was, however, a need to provide a dramatic contrast to Macbeth; a role that many scholars argue is filled by Banquo.[2] Similarly, when Jean de Schelandre wrote about Banquo in his Stuartide in 1611, he also changed the character by portraying him as a noble and honourable man—the critic D.W. Maskell describes him as "...Schelandre's paragon of valour and virtue"—probably for reasons similar to Shakespeare's.[5]

Banquo's role in the coup that follows the murder is harder to explain. Banquo's loyalty to Macbeth, rather than Malcolm, after Duncan's death makes him a passive accomplice in the coup: Malcolm, as Prince of Cumberland, is the rightful heir to the throne and Macbeth a usurper. Daniel Amneus argued that Macbeth as it survives is a revision of an earlier play, in which Duncan granted Macbeth not only the title of Thane of Cawdor, but the "greater honor"[6] of Prince of Cumberland (i.e. heir to the throne of Scotland). Banquo's silence may be a survival from the posited earlier play, in which Macbeth was the legitimate successor to Duncan.[7][8]

Role in the play

Macbeth and Banquo with the witches JHF
Macbeth and Banquo with the Witches by Henry Fuseli

Banquo is in a third of the play's scenes, as both a human and a ghost. As significant as he is to the plot, he has fewer lines than the relatively insignificant Ross, a Scottish nobleman who survives the play.[9] In the second scene of the play, King Duncan describes the manner in which Macbeth, Thane of Glamis, and Banquo, Thane of Lochaber, bravely led his army against invaders, fighting side by side. In the next scene, Banquo and Macbeth, returning from the battle together, encounter the Three Witches, who predict that Macbeth will become Thane of Cawdor, and then king. Banquo, sceptical of the witches, challenges them to predict his own future, and they foretell that Banquo will never himself take the throne, but will beget a line of kings. Banquo remains sceptical after the encounter, wondering aloud if evil can ever speak the truth. He warns Macbeth that evil will offer men a small, hopeful truth only to catch them in a deadly trap.[10]

When Macbeth kills the king and takes the throne, Banquo—the only one aware of this encounter with the witches—reserves judgment for God. He is unsure whether Macbeth committed regicide to gain the throne, but muses in a soliloquy that "I fear / Thou play'dst most foully for 't".[11] He offers his respects to the new King Macbeth and pledges loyalty.[12] Later, worried that Banquo's descendants and not his own will rule Scotland, Macbeth sends two men, and then a Third Murderer, to kill Banquo and his son Fleance. During the melee, Banquo holds off the assailants so that Fleance can escape, but is himself killed.[13] The ghost of Banquo later returns to haunt Macbeth at the banquet in Act Three, Scene Four. A terrified Macbeth sees him, while the apparition is invisible to his guests. He appears again to Macbeth in a vision granted by the Three Witches, wherein Macbeth sees a long line of kings descended from Banquo.[14]

Analysis

Foil to Macbeth

Macbeth and Banquo Meeting the Weird Sisters JW-detail
Macbeth and Banquo Meeting the Three Witches by John Wootton

Many scholars see Banquo as a foil and a contrast to Macbeth. Macbeth, for example, eagerly accepts the Three Witches' prophecy as true and seeks to help it along. Banquo, on the other hand, doubts the prophecies and the intentions of these seemingly evil creatures. Whereas Macbeth places his hope in the prediction that he will be king, Banquo argues that evil only offers gifts that lead to destruction. Banquo steadily resists the temptations of evil within the play, praying to heaven for help, while Macbeth seeks darkness, and prays that evil powers will aid him. This is visible in act two; after Banquo sees Duncan to bed, he says: "There's husbandry in heaven, / Their candles are all out".[15] This premonition of the coming darkness in association with Macbeth's murders is repeated just before Banquo is killed: "it will be rain to-night",[16] Banquo tells his son Fleance.[17]

Banquo's status as a contrast to Macbeth makes for some tense moments in the play. In act two, scene one, Banquo meets his son Fleance and asks him to take both his sword and his dagger ("Hold, take my sword ... Take thee that too"[15]). He also explains that he has been having trouble sleeping due to "cursed thoughts that nature / gives way to in repose!"[18] On Macbeth's approach, he demands the sword returned to him quickly. Scholars have interpreted this to mean that Banquo has been dreaming of murdering the king as Macbeth's accomplice to take the throne for his own family, as the Three Witches prophesied to him. In this reading, his good nature is so revolted by these thoughts that he gives his sword and dagger to Fleance to be sure they do not come true, but is so nervous at Macbeth's approach that he demands them back.[19] Other scholars have responded that Banquo's dreams have less to do with killing the king and more to do with Macbeth. They argue that Banquo is merely setting aside his sword for the night. Then, when Macbeth approaches, Banquo, having had dreams about Macbeth's deeds, takes back his sword as a precaution in this case.[20]

Macbeth eventually sees that Banquo can no longer be trusted to aid him in his evil, and considers his friend a threat to his newly acquired throne; thus, he has him murdered.[2] Banquo's ability to live on in different ways is another oppositional force, in this case to Macbeth's impending death. His spirit lives on in Fleance, his son, and in his ghostly presence at the banquet.[21]

Ghost scenes

When Macbeth returns to the witches later in the play, they show him an apparition of the murdered Banquo, along with eight of his descendants. The scene carries deep significance: King James, on the throne when Macbeth was written, was believed to be separated from Banquo by nine generations. What Shakespeare writes here thus amounts to a strong support of James' right to the throne by lineage, and for audiences of Shakespeare's day, a very real fulfilment of the witches' prophecy to Banquo that his sons would take the throne.[22] This apparition is also deeply unsettling to Macbeth, who not only wants the throne for himself, but also desires to father a line of kings.[23]

Banquo's other appearance as a ghost during the banquet scene serves as an indicator of Macbeth's conscience returning to plague his thoughts. Banquo's triumph over death appears symbolically, insofar as he literally takes Macbeth's seat during the feast. Shocked, Macbeth uses words appropriate to the metaphor of usurpation, describing Banquo as "crowned" with wounds. The spirit drains Macbeth's manhood along with the blood from his cheeks; as soon as Banquo's form vanishes, Macbeth announces: "Why, so; being gone, / I am a man again."[24][25]

Like the vision of Banquo's lineage, the banquet scene has also been the subject of criticism. Critics have questioned whether not one, but perhaps two ghosts appear in this scene: Banquo and Duncan. Scholars arguing that Duncan attends the banquet state that Macbeth's lines to the Ghost could apply equally well to the slain king. "Thou canst not say I did it", for example, can mean that Macbeth is not the man who actually killed Banquo, or it can mean that Duncan, who was asleep when Macbeth killed him, cannot claim to have seen his killer. To add to the confusion, some lines Macbeth directs to the ghost, such as "Thy bones are marrowless",[26] cannot rightly be said of Banquo, who has only recently died.[27]

Scholars debate whether Macbeth's vision of Banquo is real or a hallucination. Macbeth had already seen a hallucination before murdering Duncan: a knife hovering in the air. Several performances of the play have even ignored the stage direction to have the Ghost of Banquo enter at all, heightening the sense that Macbeth is growing mad, since the audience cannot see what he claims to see. Scholars opposing this view claim that while the dagger is unusual, ghosts of murdered victims are more believable, having a basis in the audience's superstitions. Spirits in other Shakespeare plays—notably Hamlet and Midsummer Night's Dream—exist in ambiguous forms, occasionally even calling into question their own presence.[25][27][28]

The concept of a character being confronted at a triumphant feast with a reminder of their downfall is not unique to Shakespeare and may originate from Belshazzar's feast, as portrayed in the Bible. The term 'ghost at the feast' has entered popular culture, and is often used as a metaphor for a subject a person would rather avoid considering, or (considering the general plot of Macbeth) a reminder of a person's unpleasant past or likely future.

Performances and interpretations

Macbeth-07-Lee
Canada Lee as Banquo in the Federal Theatre Project production of Macbeth (1936)

Banquo's role, especially in the banquet ghost scene, has been subject to a variety of interpretations and mediums. Shakespeare's text states: "Enter Ghost of Banquo, and sits in Macbeth's place."[29] Several television versions have altered this slightly, having Banquo appear suddenly in the chair, rather than walking onstage and into it. Special effects and camera tricks also allow producers to make the ghost disappear and reappear, highlighting the fact that only Macbeth can see it.[30]

Stage directors, unaided by post-production effects and camera tricks, have used other methods to depict the ghost. In the late 19th century, elaborate productions of the play staged by Henry Irving employed a wide variety of approaches for this task. In 1877 a green silhouette was used to create a ghostlike image; ten years later a trick chair was used to allow an actor to appear in the middle of the scene, and then again from the midst of the audience. In 1895 a shaft of blue light served to indicate the presence of Banquo's spirit. In 1933 a Russian director named Theodore Komisarjevsky staged a modern retelling of the play (Banquo and Macbeth were told of their future through palmistry); he used Macbeth's shadow as the ghost.[31] In 1936, Orson Welles directed the Federal Theatre Project production of the play, with an African-American cast that included Canada Lee in the role of Banquo.[31]

Film adaptations have approached Banquo's character in a variety of ways. Akira Kurosawa's 1957 adaptation Throne of Blood makes the character into Capitan Miki (played by Minoru Chiaki), slain by Macbeth's equivalent (Captain Washizu) when his wife explains that she is with child. News of Miki's death does not reach Washizu until after he has seen the ghost in the banquet scene. In Roman Polanski's 1971 adaptation, Banquo is played by acclaimed stage actor Martin Shaw, in a style reminiscent of earlier stage performances.[32] Polanski's version also emphasises Banquo's objection to Macbeth's ascendency by showing him remaining silent as the other thanes around him hail Macbeth as king.[33] In the 1990 film Men of Respect, a reimagining of Macbeth as taking place among a New York Mafia crime family, the character of Banquo is named "Bankie Como" and played by American actor Dennis Farina.

See also

References

  1. ^ Coursen, Herbert (1997). Macbeth. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press. pp. 15–21. ISBN 0-313-30047-X.
  2. ^ a b c Nagarajan, S. (October 1956). "A Note on Banquo". Shakespeare Quarterly. Washington DC: Folger Shakespeare Library. 7 (4): 371–6. doi:10.2307/2866356.
  3. ^ Bevington, David (1988). Four Tragedies. New York City: Bantam Books. p. 714. ISBN 0-553-21283-4.
  4. ^ Palmer, J. Foster (1886). "The Celt in Power: Tudor and Cromwell". Transactions of the Royal Historical Society. London, England: Royal Historical Society. 3 (3): 343–70. doi:10.2307/3677851.
  5. ^ Maskell, D.W. (January 1971). "The Transformation of History into Epic: The "Stuartide" (1611) of Jean de Schelandre". The Modern Language Review. Cambridge, England: Modern Humanities Research Association. 66 (1): 53–65. doi:10.2307/3722467.
  6. ^ Shakespeare, William. "Macbeth Act 1, Scene 3, line 104". Shakespeare Navigators. Retrieved January 15, 2019.
  7. ^ Amneus, Daniel (1978). "Macbeth's "Greater Honor"". In Barroll, J. Leeds. Shakespeare Studies. New York City: Burt Franklin. pp. 223–30. ISBN 0-89102-084-5.
  8. ^ Tredell, Nicolas (2006). Macbeth. London, England: Macmillan Education UK. ISBN 978-1403999245.
  9. ^ Braunmuller, A. R. (1997). "Introduction". In Braunmuller, A. R. Macbeth. The New Cambridge Shakespeare. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 266. ISBN 0-521-29455-X.
  10. ^ Macbeth. Act 1, Scene 3.
  11. ^ Macbeth, Act 3, Scene 1, lines 2–3.
  12. ^ Macbeth. Act 3, Scene 1.
  13. ^ Macbeth. Act 3, Scene 3.
  14. ^ Macbeth. Act 4, Scene 1.
  15. ^ a b Macbeth, Act 2, Scene 1, lines 4–5.
  16. ^ Macbeth, Act 3, Scene 3, line 16.
  17. ^ Watson, Robert N. (1987). ""Thriftless Ambition," Foolish Wishes, and the Tragedy of Macbeth". In Bloom, Harold. William Shakespeare's Macbeth. Modern Critical Interpretations. New York City: Chelsea House Publishers. pp. 133–68. ISBN 0-87754-930-3.
  18. ^ Macbeth, Act 2, Scene 1, lines 8–9.
  19. ^ Westbrook, Perry D. (January 1946). "A Note on "Macbeth," Act II, Scene 1". College English. Urbana, Illinois: National Council of Teachers of English. 7 (4): 219–20. doi:10.2307/371197.
  20. ^ Henneberger, Olive (October 1946). "Banquo, Loyal Subject". College English. Urbana, Illinois: National Council of Teachers of English. 8 (1): 18–22. doi:10.2307/370443.
  21. ^ Calderwood, James L. (1986). If It Were Done: Macbeth and Tragic Action. Amherst, Massachusetts: University of Massachusetts Press. pp. 96–7. ISBN 978-0-87023-534-4.
  22. ^ Williams, George Walton (May 1982). ""Macbeth": King James's Play". South Atlantic Review. 47 (2): 12–21. doi:10.2307/3199207.
  23. ^ Crawford, A. W. (November 1924). "The Apparitions in Macbeth, Part II". Modern Language Notes. Baltimore, Maryland: The Johns Hopkins University Press. 39 (7): 383–8. doi:10.2307/2914760.
  24. ^ Macbeth, Act 3, Scene 4, lines 106–107. Archived 3 June 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  25. ^ a b Calderwood, James L. (1986). If It Were Done: Macbeth and Tragic Action. Amherst, Massachusetts: University of Massachusetts Press. pp. 126–9. ISBN 978-0-87023-534-4.
  26. ^ Macbeth, Act 3, Scene 4, line 91. Archived 3 June 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  27. ^ a b Furness, Horace Howard, ed. (2007). Macbeth. Classic Books. pp. 167–9. ISBN 0-7426-5283-1.
  28. ^ Bradley, A. C. (2003). Shakespearean Tragedy. Boston, Massachusetts: Adamant Media. pp. 492–3. ISBN 1-4212-0849-0.
  29. ^ Macbeth, Act 3, Scene 4.
  30. ^ Jones, Claude E. (April 1955). "The Imperial Theme: "Macbeth" on Television". The Quarterly of Film Radio and television. Berkeley, California: University of California Press. 9 (3): 292–8. doi:10.1525/fq.1955.9.3.04a00070.
  31. ^ a b Barnet, Sylvan (1963). "Macbeth on Stage and Screen". In Barnet, Sylvan. Macbeth. London, England: Penguin Books. pp. 186–200. ISBN 0-451-52444-6.
  32. ^ Braunmuller, A. R. (1997). "Introduction". In Braunmuller, A. R. Macbeth. The New Cambridge Shakespeare. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 85–6. ISBN 0-521-29455-X.
  33. ^ Kliman, Bernice W. (1998). "Gleanings: The Residue of Difference in Scripts: The Case of Polanski's Macbeth". In Halio, Jay L.; Richmond, Hugh. Shakespearean illuminations: essays in honor of Marvin Rosenberg. Newark, Delaware: University of Delaware Press. pp. 135–6. ISBN 0-87413-657-1.
Banquo, Indiana

Banquo is an unincorporated community in Wayne Township, Huntington County, Indiana.

Canada Lee

Canada Lee (born Leonard Lionel Cornelius Canegata, March 3, 1907 – May 9, 1952) was an American actor who pioneered roles for African Americans. After careers as a jockey, boxer and musician, he became an actor in the Federal Theatre Project, most notably in a 1936 production of Macbeth adapted and directed by Orson Welles. Lee later starred in Welles's original Broadway production of Native Son (1941). A champion of civil rights in the 1930s and 1940s, Lee was blacklisted and died shortly before he was scheduled to appear before the House Un-American Activities Committee. He furthered the African-American tradition in theatre pioneered by such actors as Paul Robeson. Lee was the father of actor Carl Lee.

Conpulsion

Conpulsion is the oldest, largest gaming convention in Scotland, hosted by the Edinburgh University Roleplaying Society (GEAS) annually in Teviot Student Union, Edinburgh. It predominantly features role-playing games and live action role-playing games, but also includes wargames, board games, collectible card games, and non-collectible card games. The convention also has a strong focus on giving money to charity, in a similar vein to many Irish conventions.

Fleance

Fleance (or Fléance) is a figure in legendary Scottish history. He was depicted by 16th-century historians as the son of Lord Banquo, Thane of Lochaber, and the ancestor of the kings of the House of Stuart. Fleance is best known as a character in William Shakespeare's play Macbeth, in which the Three Witches prophesy that Banquo's descendants shall be kings. Some screen adaptations of the story expand on Fleance's role by showing his return to the kingdom after Macbeth's death.

Shakespeare's play is adapted from Holinshed's Chronicles, a history of the British Isles written during the late 16th century. In Holinshed, Fleance escapes Macbeth and flees to Wales, where he fathers a son who later becomes the first hereditary steward to the King of Scotland.

In real life, 'Steward' eventually became the name 'Stewart' (later changed to French 'Stuart'), and Walter Stewart married Princess Marjorie, daughter of Robert the Bruce. Their son, Robert II, began the Stewart/Stuart line of kings in Scotland. James VI and I, son of Mary, Queen of Scots, was the ninth Stewart/Stuart monarch (eighth king) of Scotland and the first of the Stuart monarchs of England and Ireland.

James VI & I was the reigning monarch when William Shakespeare wrote and produced Macbeth, which may have been in the new king's honour.

Holinshed's Chronicles

Holinshed's Chronicles, also known as Holinshed's Chronicles of England, Scotland, and Ireland, is a collaborative work published in several volumes and two editions, the first edition in 1577, and the second in 1587. It was a large, comprehensive description of British history published in three volumes (England, Scotland and Ireland).

The Chronicles have traditionally been a source of interest to many because of their extensive links to Shakespeare's history plays, as well as King Lear, Macbeth and Cymbeline. Recent studies of the Chronicles have focused on a inter-disciplinary approach; numerous literary scholars having studied the traditional historiographical materials through a literary lens, with a focus on how contemporary men and women would have read historical texts.The Chronicles would have been a primary source for many other literary writers of the Renaissance such as Christopher Marlowe, Edmund Spenser, and George Daniel.

List of William Shakespeare screen adaptations

The Guinness Book of Records lists 410 feature-length film and TV versions of William Shakespeare's plays, making Shakespeare the most filmed author ever in any language.As of July 2018, the Internet Movie Database lists Shakespeare as having writing credit on 1,371 films, including those under production but not yet released. The earliest known production is King John from 1899.

Lochaber

Lochaber (; Scottish Gaelic: Loch Abar) is a name applied to areas of the Scottish Highlands. Historically, it consisted of the parishes of Kilmallie and Kilmonivaig, as they were before being reduced in extent by the creation of Quoad Sacra parishes in the 19th century; this Lochaber extended from the Northern shore of Loch Leven, a district called Nether Lochaber, to beyond Spean Bridge and Roy Bridge, which area is known as Brae Lochaber or Braigh Loch Abar in Gaelic. The town of Fort William is the main urban centre and Lochaber was a distinct Province of Scotland in its own right. Lochaber is now also used to refer to a much wider area, one of the 16 ward management areas of the Highland Council of Scotland and one of eight former local government districts of the two-tier Highland region.

The ward management area is one of five comprising the Highland Council's Ross, Skye and Lochaber corporate management area, which is one of three Highland Council corporate management areas. The Ross, Skye and Lochaber area consists of six out of the 22 wards of the council area and the Lochaber area consists of two wards, the Caol and Mallaig ward, which elects three councillors, and the Fort William and Ardnamurchan ward, which elects four councillors. Each of the other wards of the corporate area is a separate ward management area.

There is also a Ross, Skye and Lochaber constituency of the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom (at Westminster), but its boundaries are not exactly those of the council corporate management area. The constituency was created in 2005 with boundaries based on those of wards in use during the period 1999 to 2007.

According to legend a glaistig, an evil woman-goat hybrid, once lived in the area.

Macbeth

Macbeth (; full title The Tragedy of Macbeth) is a tragedy by William Shakespeare; it is thought to have been first performed in 1606. It dramatises the damaging physical and psychological effects of political ambition on those who seek power for its own sake. Of all the plays that Shakespeare wrote during the reign of James I, who was patron of Shakespeare's acting company, Macbeth most clearly reflects the playwright's relationship with his sovereign. It was first published in the Folio of 1623, possibly from a prompt book, and is Shakespeare's shortest tragedy.A brave Scottish general named Macbeth receives a prophecy from a trio of witches that one day he will become King of Scotland. Consumed by ambition and spurred to action by his wife, Macbeth murders King Duncan and takes the Scottish throne for himself. He is then wracked with guilt and paranoia. Forced to commit more and more murders to protect himself from enmity and suspicion, he soon becomes a tyrannical ruler. The bloodbath and consequent civil war swiftly take Macbeth and Lady Macbeth into the realms of madness and death.

Shakespeare's source for the story is the account of Macbeth, King of Scotland; Macduff; and Duncan in Holinshed's Chronicles (1587), a history of England, Scotland, and Ireland familiar to Shakespeare and his contemporaries, although the events in the play differ extensively from the history of the real Macbeth. The events of the tragedy are usually associated with the execution of Henry Garnet for complicity in the Gunpowder Plot of 1605.In the backstage world of theatre, some believe that the play is cursed, and will not mention its title aloud, referring to it instead as "The Scottish Play". Over the course of many centuries, the play has attracted some of the most renowned actors to the roles of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. It has been adapted to film, television, opera, novels, comics, and other media.

Macbeth (1971 film)

Macbeth (or The Tragedy of Macbeth) is a 1971 British-American historical period drama film directed by Roman Polanski and co-written by Polanski and Kenneth Tynan. A film adaptation of William Shakespeare's tragedy of the same name, it retells the story of the Highland lord who becomes King of Scotland through treachery and murder. The film stars Jon Finch as the title character and Francesca Annis as Lady Macbeth, noted for their relative youth as actors. Themes of historic recurrence, greater pessimism and internal ugliness in physically beautiful characters are added to Shakespeare's story of moral decline, which is presented in a more realistic style.

Polanski opted to begin an adaptation of Macbeth following the highly publicized Manson Family murder of his wife, Sharon Tate. Finding difficulty obtaining sponsorship from major studios, the production was funded by Playboy Enterprises. Filming was troubled by poor weather around the British Isles.

Macbeth was screened out of competition at the 1972 Cannes Film Festival, and was a commercial failure in the United States. The film was controversial for its depictions of graphic violence and nudity, but has received positive reviews, and was named Best Film by the National Board of Review.

Macbeth (2006 film)

Macbeth is a 2006 Australian adaptation of William Shakespeare's Macbeth. It was directed by Geoffrey Wright and features an ensemble cast led by Sam Worthington in the title role. Macbeth, filmed in Melbourne and Victoria, was released in Australia on 21 September 2006.

Wright and Hill wrote the script, which—although it uses a modern-day Melbourne gangster setting—largely maintains the language of the original play.Macbeth was selected to screen at the Toronto International Film Festival in September 2006.

Macbeth (2015 film)

Macbeth is a 2015 British-French film tragedy based on William Shakespeare's play of the same name. The film was directed by Justin Kurzel from a screenplay adapted by Jacob Koskoff, Todd Louiso, and Michael Lesslie. It stars Michael Fassbender in the title role and Marion Cotillard as Lady Macbeth.

The film was theatrically released on 2 October 2015 in the United Kingdom and on 4 December 2015 in the United States. It was selected to compete for the Palme d'Or at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival and received generally positive reviews from film critics who praised Fassbender's performance, as well as those of the rest of the cast, the visual style, the script, the direction and the war sequences. Despite the positive critical reaction, the film was a commercial failure, grossing $16 million worldwide against its production budget of $20 million.

Macbeth (character)

Lord Macbeth, the Thane of Glamis, is the title character and titular main protagonist turned primary antagonist of William Shakespeare's Macbeth (c. 1603–1607). The character is based on the historical king Macbeth of Scotland, and is derived largely from the account in Holinshed's Chronicles (1587), a history of Britain.

Macbeth is a Scottish noble and a valiant military man. After a supernatural prophecy, and at the urging of his wife, Lady Macbeth, he commits regicide and becomes King of Scotland. He thereafter lives in anxiety and fear, unable to rest or to trust his nobles. He leads a reign of terror until defeated by his former ally Macduff. The throne is then restored to the rightful heir, the murdered King Duncan's son, Malcolm.

Malcolm Storry

Malcolm Storry (born 13 January 1948 in Hull, East Riding of Yorkshire) is a British actor who is most widely known for his role as 'Yellin' in The Princess Bride. He also portrayed Bill Adams on The Knock, and Clive Tishell in Doc Martin.

He has an extensive career in theatre, TV and film, including such roles as Sir Francis Drake in Elizabeth: The Golden Age, Bottom in A Midsummer Night's Dream for the National Theatre, and many roles for the Royal Shakespeare Company including Prospero and Caliban in The Tempest and Macduff and Banquo in Macbeth.

Simon Ludders

Simon Ludders is an English film and television actor, writer and director. He is best known for his current starring role as Renfield in Young Dracula, a CBBC television series that initially aired in 2006 and finalised in 2014.He also played Trevor Smith in Broadchurch and appeared as Mr Swan in TV mini-series Becoming Human.Next to appearing in film and television, Ludders is a theatre actor. In October 2014 he played Banquo in Macbeth, by William Shakespeare at the Colchester Mercury.Ludders had most recently appeared in the fifth series of The Dumping Ground, the spin-off of the successful Tracy Beaker franchise as Peter Umbleby. A next door neighbour living next to the care home, with a strong grudge against living next to a children's home. And later in the series finale, trying to get the care home closed and knocked down.

The Banquo Legacy

The Banquo Legacy is a BBC Books original novel written by Andy Lane and Justin Richards and based on the long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who. It features the Eighth Doctor, Fitz and Compassion.

Third Murderer

The Third Murderer is a character in William Shakespeare's tragedy Macbeth (1606). He appears in one scene (3.3), joining the First and Second Murderers to assassinate Banquo and Fleance, at the orders of Macbeth.

The Third Murderer is not present when Macbeth speaks to the First and Second Murderers, and is not expected by his partners. Although the Third Murderer is a small role, the identity of the character has been the subject of scholarly debate, and various productions have equated him with other characters.

Three Witches

The Three Witches, also known as the Weird Sisters or Wayward Sisters, are characters in William Shakespeare's play Macbeth (c. 1603–1607). They hold a striking resemblance to the three Fates of classical mythology, and are, perhaps, intended as a twisted version of the white-robed incarnations of destiny. The witches eventually lead Macbeth to his demise. Their origin lies in Holinshed's Chronicles (1587), a history of England, Scotland and Ireland. Other possible sources, aside from Shakespeare's imagination, include British folklore, such contemporary treatises on witchcraft as King James VI of Scotland's Daemonologie, the Norns of Norse mythology, and ancient classical myths of the Fates: the Greek Moirai and the Roman Parcae. Productions of Macbeth began incorporating portions of Thomas Middleton's contemporaneous play The Witch circa 1618, two years after Shakespeare's death.

Shakespeare's witches are prophets who hail Macbeth, the general, early in the play, and predict his ascent to kingship. Upon killing the king and gaining the throne of Scotland, Macbeth hears them ambiguously predict his eventual downfall. The witches, and their "filthy" trappings and supernatural activities, set an ominous tone for the play.

Artists in the eighteenth century, including Henry Fuseli and William Rimmer, depicted the witches variously, as have many directors since. Some have exaggerated or sensationalised the hags, or have adapted them to different cultures, as in Orson Welles's rendition of the weird sisters as voodoo priestesses. Some film adaptations have cast the witches as such modern analogues as hippies on drugs, or goth schoolgirls. Their influence reaches the literary realm as well in such works as the Discworld and Harry Potter series.

Tor Castle

Tor Castle is a ruined castle, on the River Lochy, near Torlundy, in the vicinity of Fort William, Invernesshire, Scotland.

An Iron Age fort previously occupied the site. According to tradition, the fort once belonged to Banquo who features in MacBeth. There has been a castle at the site since at least the eleventh century. In 1291 a splendid match was arranged for Angus Mackintosh, chief of the Clan Mackintosh, when he married Eva, the only daughter of Dougal Dal, chief of the Clan Chattan, which brought Angus the lands of Glenloy and Loch Arkaig. Angus and Eva lived on the lands of Clan Chattan at Tor Castle but they later withdrew to Rothiemurchus. The castle was then seized by the Clan Cameron, who built a massive tower house and courtyard. Ewen Cameron of Lochiel, 13th chief of Clan Cameron rebuilt the castle in 1530. The Camerons used the castle as a refuge from attacks by the Clan MacDonald of Keppoch.

William Stride

William Francis Stride (1865 – 21 February 1942) was an English footballer who made four appearances as a half-back in the FA Cup for Southampton St. Mary's between 1888 and 1894. Throughout his career, he was known as "Banquo" Stride.

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