Fleance, son of Banquo

[This is an annotated list of all appearances and all mentions of Fleance.]

Ben Fellows as Fleance.


Banquo asks his son, Fleance, "How goes the night, boy? (2.1.1). Thus opens the scene which ends with Macbeth going to murder his King. From the short conversation between Banquo and Fleance, it appears that Fleance is acting as his father's squire, and that the two of them have a trusting relationship.      [Detailed Scene Summary]

After Macbeth becomes king, and just before he has Banquo murdered, Macbeth makes a show of showing his friendship for Banquo. Banquo is going on a horseback ride, and Macbeth wishes him well, saying, "Hie you to horse: adieu, / Till you return at night," but then he asks, "Goes Fleance with you?" (3.1.34-35), because he's planning on murdering Banquo's son, too.      [Detailed Scene Summary]

When the three murderers attack Banquo, his first thought is for his son, and he cries out: O, treachery! Fly, good Fleance, fly, fly, fly!" (3.3.16). Fleance does as his father says, and escapes into the night.      [Detailed Scene Summary]

When First Murderer tells Macbeth that Fleance has escaped with his life, Macbeth is bitterly disappointed, but there's not much he can do. He's glad that the "grown serpent" (Banquo) is dead, but "the worm that's fled / Hath nature that in time will venom breed, / No teeth for the present" (3.4.28-30). Fleance is referred to as "the worm" because a worm is a small serpent.      [Detailed Scene Summary]

In the course of a sarcastic commentary on Macbeth's version of recent events, Lennox says to another Lord, "And the right-valiant Banquo walk'd too late; / Whom, you may say, if't please you, Fleance kill'd, / For Fleance fled: men must not walk too late" (3.6.7). We never find out where Fleance fled to. Lennox is just glad that Macbeth can't get his hands on Fleance; otherwise, the boy would be dead.      [Detailed Scene Summary]