Act III – Scene.iii
As Banquo and Fleance travel to the banquet, the hired murderers intercept
them. Banquo is killed and during the struggle, the murderers’ lantern is extinguished, giving Fleance the opportunity to escape.
Shakespeare cleverly reverses the norm. In the
light of the murderers’ lanterns, the foul killing will take place, but when they are extinguished and the stage is plunged into darkness, Fleance makes his escape. Shakespeare is emphasizing to the audience
that in Macbeth’s Scotland, day is night, and night is day.
It is interesting that Shakespeare portrays the murderers as being able to
speak poetically, but they are capable of doing the foulest deed. It is the same hypocrisy shared by Macbeth who is also capable of poetry and murder.
The audience has deep sympathy for Banquo who innocently rode towards his