Q: Banquo as Christ Figure
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 4, No. 158. Thursday, 11 March 1993.
From: Steven S. Vrooman <STDNCOGA@LMUACAD>
Date: Wednesday, 10 Mar 93 14:49:36 PST
Subject: new topic?
I'm an undergrad and this is my first post, but I was wondering
what you more knowledgeable folks would think about an idea I
used to write a paper on for my Shakespeare class. I think it is
original, but I'm not sure.
I did a close reading of Macbeth's "To be thus is nothing" soliloquy.
I took "My Genius (a spirit according to Riverside footnote) is rebuk'd"
to be an echo of Jesus' rebuking demons in the New Testament. I also took
"...He chid the sisters
When first they put the name of king upon me,
And he bade them speak to him..."
as an echo of Christ as well (see Mark 1:23-6, 5:6-10). Plus, Banquo is
resurrected, in a sense. There are other parallels as well.
My thesis was that Shakespeare is setting up Banquo as a Christ figure
in this speech about Banquo's kingly virtues. Am I looking for more than
is in the text?
Steven S. Vrooman
Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles