Act 4, Scene 2 Notes from Macbeth

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Macbeth Act 4, Scene 2

At Macduff's castle in Fife, Lady Macduff and her young son are talking with Ross. Lady Macduff is angry that her husband has fled and left his wife and children unprotected. She thinks her husband does not love them, and Ross tries to explain to her that her husband was wise to flee. Ross, however, does not tell her where her husband has gone. He is very secretive about her husband's purpose. Lady Macduff says that "when our actions do not, / Our fears do make us traitors." Act 4, Scene 2, lines 2-3 So whether her husband actually was a traitor and needed to flee or not, the fact that he has fled makes him seem a traitor. Ross cannot convince her that her husband has acted in wisdom, and so he leaves.

Lady Macduff tells her son that his father is dead, but the boy argues that if his father were dead, she would be weeping. She keeps insisting that his father is dead because he is a traitor. As they argue a messenger comes in and warns her that danger is coming toward the castle and that she should take her children and flee. She has nowhere to run to, and the murderers come in disguised in horrible masks. The murderers ask her where her husband is, and she tells him that she hopes that Macduff is in a place where they shall never find him. The murderers call Macduff a traitor and the young boy calls them liars. One of the murderers stabs the boy and kills him. Lady Macduff runs screaming 'Murder,' and the villains chase after her.

Topic Tracking: Betrayal 9

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