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The Seeds of Time

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The Seeds of Time

In Act 1, Scene 3, after encountering the witches, Macbeth believes the prophecies whereas Banquo is skeptical. Following the predictions, Macbeth is very curious about the witches ability to tell the future. Macbeth insists that the witches give him more information and he demands, "Stay you imperfect speakers. Tell me more" (1.3.73) Macbeth's desperate tone illustrates that he is eager for more answers and he believes in the possibility that the prophecies may become reality. Macbeth further shows his eagerness and belief in the prophecies when he thinks about murdering King Duncan to fulfil the final prediction. As he considers his options, Macbeth wonders, "Why do I yield to that suggestion/whose horrid image doth unfix my hair" (1.3.147-148). Macbeth overlooks the chances that the prophecies may not come true, and instead jumps to "the suggestion" of committing murder. By assuming the witches are correct, Macbeth indicates his strong belief in their words. On the other hand, while Macbeth believes the prophecies, Banquo remains skeptical about their predictions. After the witches vanish, Banquo wonders if they are only a figment of his imagination. He exclaims in disbelief, "Were such things here as we do speak about?/ Or have we eaten on the insane root/ that takes the reason prisoner."(1.3.86-88). By questioning their existence, Banquo displays his skepticism because he is not prepared to believe what they say. In addition, after Macbeth reveals his belief in the prophecies, Banquo warns him that they were not to be trusted. Banquo cautions, "But this strange/ And often times, to win us to our harm,/ The instruments of darkness tell us truths/ Win us with honest trifles to betray's/ In deepest consequence" (1.3.134-138) Banquo's logical response to the witches shows that he is not willing to accept the predictions and he doubts their legitimacy. In comparison, Macbeth gets carried away with the possibility that the predictions may be true by envisioning the murder of Duncan. Banquo, on the contrary, is skeptical and provides a logical perspective about the prophecies. To conclude, Macbeth believes the witches prophecies, while Banquo does not.

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