Macbeth had prior to his coronation spoken to the two murderers, especially spoken by him to carry out the murder of Banquo and Fleance. These men were influenced to do so due to a grudge they were induced to feel towards Banquo by Macbeth. Apparently, the two murderers had earlier harboured hatred against Macbeth, but Macbeth had given them proof that Banquo was the person responsible for their miserable condition. This effectively turned their hatred to the direction of Banquo against the ill-will they had earlier born for him.
At his first meeting with the murderers Macbeth had not revealed his plan for the murder of Banquo and Fleance to them. He diplomatically chose to clear the record and prove to them that Banquo was their enemy. The earlier meeting had taken place a day previous to the meeting at Forres. Macbeth asked the murderers : “ Was it not yesterday we spoked together ?” Macbeth had during that meeting, shown them that it was Banquo, “who in times past held(then) so under misfortune.” Macbeth told them that they had believed him to be their enemy. He had not just made an accusation without substance but had proved or, ‘passed in probation’ with them how they had been : “born in hand.” He had given them so much proof that even someone with : “half a soul and to a notion craz’d would say thus did Banquo.”
Macbeth had then waited for this rebellation to sink into their consciousness and dismiss the murderers after the meeting. They had a whole day to consider of the information they had received and had converte their former hatred for Macbeth into a desire to revenge against Banquo. Consequently when Macbeth met them second time, he did not have to labour to convince them to take a decision to murder Banquo.
After second meeting with the murderers, Macbeth changed his tactics, He no longer fed them with information but instead challenged their manhood through a series of taunts in order to get a desire action from them.
Using a tone of irony, Macbeth asked the murderers whether they found : ‘patience so pre-dominant in nature’ that they could allow their sufferings and hardships to pass unavenged. He wondered whether they were such firm believers of forgiveness in the ‘gosper’ that they could forgive Banquo and : “pray for this good man and for his issue.”
The murderers were immediately stung by the suggestion that they would be likely be able to get rid of Banquo. They proudly said : “We are men, my liege.”
He lightly dismissed what they said by proving their statement to be hollow unless it was supported with a proof of their masculinity. He said just as they were known varieties of dogs, they were also dogs. There were also different varieties of men in the world, they were men. In order to prove they had a natural talent for revenge given to them by : “bounteous nature.” It would be necessary for them to commit an action which would prove them special, it would also place them in : “the valued file” or list of special men. He told them that if they had : “a station in the file” he would give them a special responsibility, this was with reference to the murder of Banquo and Fleance.
Macbeth, knowing the working of their minds, also revealed to them what the benefits of this plan would be. The fulfillment of ‘towards that business’ would eliminate an enemy for them – “takes your enemy off.” Moreover, since it was something that the king also desired, their action would : “grapple them to the heart and love” of Macbeth forever.
The murderers seem to have decided to commit the murder without any provocation. They prove themselves to be depressed when the admitted that they had suffered much in the world and so were “wreckless what to spite the world.” This attitude suited Macbeth’s plan perfectly as they would be willing to take any risk.
Macbeth then revealed his intention for the murder of Banquo. He confessed that Banquo was his enemy as well. In fact, this enemity was so intense “that every minute of Banquo’s being thrusts against his neares’t of life.” Macbeth analyzed all arguments which the murderers might have put forward, especially the reason why he required their help. He told the murderers that he could have had Banquo executed at his will but needed their help to disguise his enemity. This disguise was necessary as he was insecure and needed the support of the mutual friends that Banquo and he had – “certain friends that are both his and mine.” Due to this consideration Macbeth said that he had to be false and “wail his fall whom I myself struck down.”
Macbeth promised to give the murderers all the information required for the plan “within the hour at most”, he pledged to communicate to them the details of time and the place for the murder for which preliminary information had already been elicited(given) through his conversation with Banquo earlier that morning.
Macbeth gave certain conditions for the murder. It had to be done that night itself ; It had to be done some distance from the palace ; in no way Macbeth is to be implicated ; and above all Fleance, the son of Banquo had to die at the same time. Macbeth unfortunately mentioned the conditions of Fleance’s death rather casually. He seemed to suggest that Fleance should die so as to destroy the only witness of the crime : “to leave no rubs nor botches in the work.” He failed to impress upon the murderers that Fleance’s death was as essential as that of Banquo. In any case, the murderers were personally motivated to kill only Banquo for the sufferings that he had caused them. Therefore, when Fleance got away, they were not motivated enough to search for him.
Macbeth then asked the murderers to decide if they were upon their immediate to be willing to carry out the plan he dismissed them exclaiming to the heavens : “Banquo thy soul’s flight, if it find heaven, must find it out tonight.”