In Macbeth, act 3 is possibly one of the most important acts in the whole play. It adds a lot of tension and changes the play upside down. It also adds a few new characters to the play who are starting to influence the story.
In scene 1 of act 3 we see Banquo, one of Macbeth’s loyal friend starting to doubt Macbeth of murdering Duncan as he is aware of the witch’s prophecy. For the same reason Macbeth is nervous and plots to kill his own friend for the fear of being exposed. He is also jealous about the second part of the prophecy which states that Banquo’s decedents will sit on the throne. “upon my head they placed a fruitless crown”.
Later in scene 2, Lady Macbeth enquires Macbeth for the reason he is acting very strange. She worries that their deeds might be exposed. In this scene we see first signs of Macbeth going insane with worry and anxiety. He even hides the real facts about Banquo’s murder plan from Lady Macbeth which shows that Macbeth had changed and is changing.
After Banquo’s murder, he appears as a ghost only visible to Macbeth during the banquet. Macbeth reveals his fears as he humiliates himself before all the guests. In embarrassment Lady Macbeth accuses Macbeth for not being a man and that the ghost is only an imagination of his mind just like the floating daggers.
Soon after this in scene 6 we are made aware of the gossips that are circulating within Scotland about Macbeth and the strange events that have taken place lately. Even here we see evidence of faith in Macbeth fading away among his countrymen. They are starting to doubt Macbeth and they hope that Macduff will be successful in his mission to England.
In act 3, the play has taken a different course. The fears of Macbeth are slowly becoming true…