Horror Scenes In Shakespeare: Banquo’s Ghost in ‘Macbeth’

Don’t let all that fancy language and the ‘thees’ and ‘thous’ fool you: Shakespeare definitely wrote some scenes that are more than worthy of Halloween reading.

The scene in which Banquo’s ghost appears in ‘Macbeth’ is a case in point.

It’s a great scene, so take a look!

Shakespeare Nerd

There is a beautifully crafted moment in Act 3, Scene 4 of ‘Macbeth’ where Macbeth, Lady Macbeth, and a group of lords gather for dinner. There is no place set for Banquo, because Macbeth knows he will not attend dinner – he cannot, because Macbeth has had him murdered. 

Just as Macbeth is about to sit down, he makes a speech saying that all the greatest men of the kingdom would be under one roof if Banquo were there, but he hasn’t deigned to join them. At that moment, Banquo’s ghost has shown up and taken Macbeth’s seat. Macbeth, not realising the others can’t see Banquo, tells Ross he can’t sit down because the table’s full. Lennox shows him to his place, and Macbeth starts acting very strangely. He directly addresses Banquo’s ghost, saying “Thou canst not say I did it: never shake thy gory locks at me.” 

This is…

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