Analysis Of The Influence Of Friendship Between The Two Main Characters In The Play Macbeth

Analysis of the influence of friendship between the two main characters – Macbeth and Banquo. Shakespeare’s plays often contain different types of relationships, and friendship isn’t an exception in the play Macbeth by William Shakespeare. Friendship plays a big role in Macbeth: through it readers get acquainted with the main characters, learn about their personalities, traits, characters, moral values and qualities. Contact between Macbeth and his closest friend Banquo is an integral element of the changes of the protagonist throughout the whole plot.

This play is a vivid confirmation of the fact that a true friendship, like any other “real relationships” between people, cannot be forgotten in no life circumstances, and friends may affect not only physical, but also a mental health.

To begin with, the play begins with the friendship between the two main characters – Macbeth and Banquo. The most important thing which they both obtain from this form of relationship is trust – they can easily rely on each other and trust even the most secret information.

Get quality help now
Bella Hamilton
Bella Hamilton
checked Verified writer

Proficient in: Free Essays

star star star star 5 (234)

“ Very organized ,I enjoyed and Loved every bit of our professional interaction ”

avatar avatar avatar
+84 relevant experts are online
Hire writer

Unfortunately, it does not last long because in the third scene of the first act, Macbeth and Banquo encounter the witches who tell them really weird but at the same time pleasant things. Of course, two friends are discouraged by such news and they are not sure if it is a good idea to believe these dark spirits. While Macbeth begins to gradually “dive” into himself, Banquo tries to communicate with his friend in order to “defuse” the situation. For example, he says “And oftentimes, to win us to our harm,/The instruments of darkness tell us truth.

Get to Know The Price Estimate For Your Paper
Number of pages
Email Invalid email

By clicking “Check Writers’ Offers”, you agree to our terms of service and privacy policy. We’ll occasionally send you promo and account related email

"You must agree to out terms of services and privacy policy"
Write my paper

You won’t be charged yet!

”(1.3.122-3). This quote illustrates that Banquo has not lost trust in Macbeth yet and he tries to discuss with him everything that has happened. On the contrary, readers may notice a contrast changes in the character of Macbeth: he starts to act himself even without a desire to share his experiences with somebody else. This can be seen from his monologue in act 1, scene 4.

Throughout the 2-4 scenes, Macbeth turns into the exact opposite of himself at the beginning of the play. In act 2 scene 1, Macbeth has a moment alone and presents an important soliloquy in which he articulates his doubts. He mentions that he sees a dagger in the front of him and feels that it leads him to murder. Lady Macbeth, his wife, in some kind “replaces” Banquo but, of course, she does this only for one reason – the thirst of power. Macbeth almost forgets his friend and doesn’t pay any attention on the suspicions from his side.

Act 3 is a decisive part of the plot. Macbeth meets with two murderers whom he has already met with, and whom he tries to convince to kill Banquo. Moreover, Macbeth ensures them that it is Banquo who is responsible for their unhappiness. All in all, Banquo is overcome and killed, while Macbeth celebrates his “victory” and “power” during the banquet. Subconsciously, Macbeth fully understands his guilt but he tries not to show this. Despite his desire, Macbeth “sees” Banquo’s ghost and speaks to him:

“Prithee, see there! behold! look! lo! how say you?

Why, what care I? If thou canst nod, speak too.

If charnel-houses and our graves must send

Those that we bury back, our monuments

Shall be the maws of kites.” (3.4.74-75)

This can be explained as an emotional stress that attacks the protagonist. But analyzing this situation, I came to the conclusion that it wasn’t only an emotional stress that influenced him. From the first two acts, when Macbeth organizes a murder in order to kill Duncan, he doesn’t experience the same feelings as with Banquo. Overall, Macbeth is responsible for two killings – King Duncan and Banquo but only Banquo had such a strong effect on mental health of the character. And it is not surprising since they were friends, moreover, real friends!

To my mind, Macbeth suffered from depression due to lack of Banquo. This statement may be confirmed by recent psychological studies: A 2009 study from the Journal of the National Medical Association surveyed 300 men and women at a free health clinic in Buffalo, New York. They found that respondents with insufficient perceived social support were the most likely to suffer from mental health disorders like anxiety and depression. A good friendship requires a balance between individuals--one where the needs of each are met. Good friendships have a myriad of benefits, such as increased feelings of belonging, purpose, increased levels of happiness, reduced levels of stress, improved self-worth and confidence. [1]

Taking into consideration all mentioned above, friendship can really change a person as for the better, as for the worse. True friendship, as Macbeth and Banco had at the beginning of the tragedy, cannot be forgotten under any circumstances. It affects both sides of our health: physical and mental.

Sources Cited

1. “How friendship affects your physical & mental health?”. Mental Health Screening. 20 January 2015. Web.

Updated: Feb 02, 2024
Cite this page

Analysis Of The Influence Of Friendship Between The Two Main Characters In The Play Macbeth. (2024, Feb 03). Retrieved from

Live chat  with support 24/7

👋 Hi! I’m your smart assistant Amy!

Don’t know where to start? Type your requirements and I’ll connect you to an academic expert within 3 minutes.

get help with your assignment