Comment on the dramatic significance of the Banquet scene in “Macbeth” by William Shakespeare

The famous Banquet scene (Act-III, scene-iv,) in Macbeth is called the discovery scene. It is the discovery of Macbeth’s guilt. Shakespeare’s mind tries to search the psychological treatment. The guests came and have taken the seat according to degree. Macbeth and Lady Macbeth play the royal host and hostess. Macbeth appears more active where Lady Macbeth sits in her chair passive. It is the beginning but at the last, we see the scene changes and chaos in the mind of Macbeth. So, now we see how ‘Banquet Scene’ strikes the keynote to the whole dramatic structure.

As the ‘Banquet Scene’ proceeds the first Murderer appears at the door and Macbeth hears the report. Banquo is killed and Fleance has escaped. The Murderer is disposed of. When Macbeth is about to take his seat he finds to his great horror and surprise that the ghost of Banquo seated in his place. Macbeth is terribly shaken and to the air asks the ghost not to shake his blood-stained head at him. He becomes disturbed but Lady Macbeth reasons with him and explains away the strange aberration to the guests. She manages the whole scene but Macbeth is still in Banquo ghost’s phobia. The ghost vanishes. He himself apologizes to the ghosts. The ghost re-enters and Macbeth threw out himself. He makes boastful utterances. He is ready to face a fierce Russian bears or the horn rhinoceros or the Persian tiger. Lady Macbeth finding no other alternative dismises the party wishing them all happy good night. Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are left alone completely exhausted with the stings of bitter scorpions. Macduff becomes the worst of the scorpions to Macbeth’s mind. He resolves to defend the crime and proposes to meet the witches.

The scene throws the light on the characters of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. Macbeth’s mental power degenerates. His mind is completely unhinged, conscience picked to him through the terrible vision of the ghost.

The scene also shows the supernatural fantas magoria—just in modern abnormal psychological concern. Scenically the ghost of Banquo is not a hallucination like the dagger. The ghost is indeed real but “of all Shakespeare ghosts it is the most ghostly.”

We also see the ironic reversal bond between the actor and the spectator with pity and fear. Macbeth’s situation is typical tragic human destiny at the moment of his supreme confidence. We see the precariousness of the human condition. The ghost symbolizes the grim Nemesis that overtakes Macbeth. Extreme moment of inertia reflects the inner psychology and concealed words. Here Macbeth has now reached the height point of all his greatness only to be pursued and torture by the Nemesis of his own imagination. The ghost scene builds up the tragic atmosphere of gloom and terror. So, this, the discovery scene of Macbeth’s quiet; secrecy opens like the petals of flowers.