Macbeth And Lennox LENNOX. Lennox is a political power-seeker, and we saw him on stage every time we saw Duncan on stage.
He is one of those people who gravitates to power and gets as close to it as possible so that he can feel it and share it as much as possible. Once Macbeth is king, then Lennox is around him all the time, too. At the banquet when Macbeth saw Banquo’s ghost, he was the one to invite Macbeth to sit next to him. He was the one to have the last word even when Lady Macbeth shouted for everyone to leave the room: Better health attend his majesty. Macbeth brought Lennox in to a place of great trust, as can be seen when Macbeth went to see the witches again: he took Lennox with him. At the end of the play, when the power changed sides, so did Macbeth.
He was with the forces fighting against Macbeth. Therefore, Lennox would do ANYTHING to be in the glow of the power. In order to secure a better position with Macbeth, he became the third murderer. Macbeth asked him to go because he needed a warrior to make sure the job got done; he could not trust the two men he had hired to kill the great warrior, Banquo, without the help of another thane/warrior. Lennox was the one for the job. Macbeth knew he would do anything to stay near the power, and he took advantage of this.
Another take on Lennox as the third murderer has him as a spy in Macbeth’s castle, loyal to the forces opposing Macbeth. Lennox had been loyal to Duncan and ended up as one of the leaders of the forces opposing Macbeth in the end of the play. In fact, it was Lennox who knew where every soldier was, so he must have had the master plan for the battle in his possession. (When the question was asked in the end, Who knows if Donalbain be with his brother? it was Lennox who knew for certain that he was not. Lennox had a list of all the gentry. A political power-seeker would not earn that kind of position so quickly in the rebellion, so he must have been against Macbeth all along.
His negative opinion of Macbeth was clearly expressed in Act III, scene vi, when he calls him a tyrant and rails against him openly to the unnamed Lord. Macbeth himself talks about how he has spies in every one else’s castle: There’s not a one of them but in his house/ I keep a servant feed (Act III, scene iv). Therefore, Lennox is a spy in Macbeth’s castle. In the position of trust he has managed to obtain, he is sent out at the last minute to help with the killing of Banquo.
Although he does not want to blow his cover, he cannot let Banquo die. However, the light is extinguished, the two murderers set upon Banquo immediately, killing him before Lennox can stop them, so he does the best that he can by helping Fleance to escape. He then returned to the banquet, where he would not have been missed. He maintains his close link to Macbeth, but does not give him any information that would help Macbeth. Note the fact that he does not tell Macbeth about Macduff’s flight to England until his hand is forced by the two or three riders who came by in Act IV to report the information to Macbeth.
The audience knows, though, that he already knew this from the conversation he had earlier with the unnamed Lord. He kept this information from Macbeth because he was a spy.