In Macbeth act 4, the motivation behind the appearance and discourse of the envoy in act four, scene two is to caution Lady Macduff that she is in great danger and should escape her home as soon as possible with her family. While Shakespeare does not expressly advise the crowd who sent the messenger, one can infer that a partner of Macduff and somebody contradicted to Macbeth sent him to secure Lady Macduff and her kids. To this moment, the audience has no clue who the mysterious messenger might be, but what the audience does know is that he was sent to warn Lady Macduff about the danger that is present around her and her children. The messenger often tells Lady Macduff that she should trust in him that he is an honorable person and his words are true. Lady Macduff ends up staying and taking for granted the messenger’s message.
Draw Conclusions Lady Macduff and Malcom both question Macduff’s motives for fleeing Scotland. Think about the crimes Macbeth has already committed. Why might the nature of these crimes have led Macduff to believe his family would be safe at his castle?
In Act 4, Macduff decides to flee his castle and go to England because he knows about the danger that surrounds him in the castle. He was the person who found Duncan’s dead body, and he has valid justification to expect that it will be the same for him. In England he will unite with different furious people like Malcolm, Northumberland, and Siward with the goal of coming back to Scotland to take Macbeth out of his reign. Simultaneously, Macduff is wracked with blame and enduring over a choice that was to a great extent constrained upon him by conditions outside his ability to control. In making great his break, he left his wife and kids a lone. Naturally, he feels that he has double-crossed them here and there, and left them helpless before Macbeth’s unquenchable fury.
Infer Why might Shakespeare have decided to show the murder of Lady Macduff and her children on stage? Explain how watching this scene rather than hearing about the event occurring offstage might affect the audience’s view of Macbeth.
Shakespeare might have decided to show the murder of Lady Macduff and her children on stage because he wanted to give the audience an insight on how brutal the murders where. Illustrating the murders to his audience makes it seem more real than just hearing about them happening, this helps the audience feel inside of the play and feel like they just witnessed a murder in real life, this helps Shakespeare make a connection between his audience and his novel, the audience feels connected because of the atrocious murder they just witnessed. Shakespeare also described this scene because he wanted the audience to realize about Macbeth’s lack of sympathy towards anyone, this violent act shows how real of a monster he has become due to envy.
In Act 4, Malcom’s initial attitude toward Macduff is that he cannot be trusted; Malcom believes that Macduff is on Macbeth’s side, he believes that Macduff is bad like Macbeth. Malcom cannot find a reasonable answer to why Macduff would leave his family behind and move to England. He believes that he wants to kill him. To determine whether his insinuations of Macduff being also the bad guy, he tests him by asking him if he is qualified to be the king because all of his flaws; he is greedy, violent, and lustful. Macduff disagrees at first, but then he cannot help crying “O Scotland, Scotland” (Act 4, Scene 3). Macduff’s faithfulness toward Scotland drives him to think that Malcolm is not fit to govern Scotland and maybe not even to live in there. Macduff has passed Malcolm’s assessment of loyalty. Malcom then accepts Macduff as his companion and ally.
This passage is included in Macbeth Act 4 because Shakespeare wanted to show the difference in ruling from Macbeth’s empire and Edward’s empire. The main difference between the two kingdoms is their way of ruling; Macbeth’s is greedy, bloody, and selfish. He does not care that the people in his kingdom are hurting because of his actions. Edward, the English king, wants to end Macbeth’s ruling once in for all, he wants to cut his line of bloody ruling and show the people what really is like to have a good king. Shakespeare included this passage because he wanted to show the audience that that is not the way of ruling, that if things ever where like that, someone will try to remove their bloody ways. Kings were thought to have healing in his hands, that they were closer to God, something Macbeth was not. Macbeth was not divine as supposed to a king, he was not helping anyone, he was not righteous like the other kings.
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