Act 4 Scene 3 By: Jon, Mackenzie, Sebastien, and Ben
Summary In this scene Malcolm and Macduff are near king Edward`s palace plotting their attack against Scotland (Where the Cawdor Castle, now under Macbeth`s control, lies). Malcolm tests Macduff`s morals and loyalty in this scene by telling Macduff that if he were to become king, he would only care about his wealth and cut people of their land take their jewels and money and etc. (lines 80 to 86). In short, he is saying that he would be a greedy king with evil intentions, and that he doesn’t deserve to be king because of the fact. Later on Malcolm (and the doctor who later walks in the room) mention something to Macduff about king Edward, which is the fact that he is a man that can heal the ill with a single touch (Doctors quotes on lines 143 to 147 + Macbeth`s quote lines 149 to 161).
Summary (continued) Afterwards Ross walks in to deliver his message to Macduff, the message being that some of Macbeth`s men have killed his family, which (from what we know from the previous scene) includes his wife and son (lines 207 -210). Macduff appears to be left speechless as all of this news is unfolding. He becomes angry towards Macduff`s actions, and thus, him and Malcolm are ready to lead their army towards Cawdor castle.
Purpose of the Scene Main Themes: Kingship vs. Tyranny + Good vs. Evil In this scene: -Tension/suspense is created which generates some initial confusion -It builds on Character roles -It builds on plot
How it Works • Line 25 -26 Biblical illusion Good Vs. Evil “Angels are bright still, though the brightest still: Through all things foul would wear the brows of grace. ” (This is a biblical illusion for Lucifer) Kingship Vs. Tyranny: (Malcolm 148 to 161) This is the quote in which Malcolm mentions king Edward’s great healing powers to Macduff. King Edwards Represents Kingship. He symbolises the definition of a seemingly perfect and good king who earned his position in the proper fashion (he took over once his father would’ve passed from natural causes we could assume). Macbeth on the other hand Represents Tyranny. He killed king Duncan, took control of his castle, and is letting the evil go to his head. So we will later see that Tyranny doesn’t work out once Macbeth is killed in the last scene, and that Kingship overrules Tyranny since kingship represents good values whereas Tyranny represents bad values (In the case of this play) Building tension/Causing initial confusion: (lines 80 to 86) Malcolm gives Macduff a strange response in regards to him being king, saying that he would be worse than Macbeth, considering that Macbeth has become an evil and corrupted man. He would (in other words) follow in Macbeth’s footsteps but instead be much more evil. This creates initial confusion for both Macduff and the audience.
How it Works (continued) Character Development: Malcolm: Scene reveals his cautious nature while emphasizing his cunning. Line 122 -127: “But God above Deal between thee and me, for even now I put myself to thy direction and Unspeak mine own detraction, here abjure The taints and blames I laid upon myself, For strangers to my nature. ” This quote is Malcolm admitting to Macduff that he was in fact pretending to be impure of heart to test the devotion of Macduff. This is in essence showing the maturity, caution, and cunning that resides in Macduff. Not only is he righteous and detests Macbeth but he isn’t as Naive as his father to trust people unconditionally.
How it Works (continued) Macduff: Macduff is faithful to the crown and passionate Line 110 -115: “Fit to govern? No, not to live. —O nation miserable, With an untitled tyrant bloody-sceptered, When shalt thou see thy wholesome days again, Since that the truest issue of thy throne By his own interdiction stands accursed, And does blaspheme his breed? ” This quote better represents the passion and faith Macduff has towards the crown. Only someone who was faithful to the crown would call a fraud out on his behaviour so readily. The passion in this short quote becomes evident when the blatant disregard for the heir to the throne’s life is revealed.
How it Works (continued) Plot Development: Although Shakespeare doesn’t use any figurative language, this scene is important to the plot development. Malcolm wants to test Macduff’s loyalty because he doesn’t want to trust too easily and make the same mistakes his father did. This essentially leads us to a stronger feeling of catharsis at the end of the play because we know that Scotland will be in good hands. “ My first false speaking was this upon myself. What I am truly, is thine and my poor country’s to command. ” (~130) The plot development in this scene sets up for the war against Macbeth. Macduff and Malcolm ally with England their 10, 000 soldiers to make war against Macbeth and end his tyranny.