The Presentation Of Lady Macduff In Act

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The Presentation Of Lady Macduff In Act Four Scene Two Essay, Research Paper Introduction William Shakespeare wrote “Macbeth” in 1605 to be performed in front of King James the 5th. It is the story of Macbeth, a thane of Scotland who after meeting three witches who predict that one day he will be king, develops a fatal ambition to rule Scotland. He, along with his even more ambitious wife, decides he will have to do whatever possible to achieve the position of King of Scotland and embarks on a life of treachery, deceit and evil in order to achieve his ambition. Shakespeare wrote the play to be performed to King James 5th of England (& 6th of Scotland) who was very interested in witchcraft (he wrote a book about it) and also in kingship & the divine right of kings.

King James was also a direct descendant of Banquo and therefore the play would have interested him greatly. Knowing the history of King James is very important in understanding some of the subplots in the play, which were written with the intention of interesting King James. The particular scene we are looking at lies towards the end of the play where Macbeth is at his most evil. The scene comes at the end of a particularly uninteresting part of the play as it is likely that Shakespeare put it in to bring the play back to life and regain the audience´s attention before Macbeth´s final showdown. Act 4, scene 2 tells the story of Lady Macduff´s death and her feeling of betrayal by her husband who has fled to England, she thinks to protect himself, but he thinks it will protect

his family from Macbeth´s reign of terror. In the scene a total stranger warns Lady Macduff that she must flee her home to escape murder from Macbeth´s murderers, which he has sent to kill Macduff. She ignores these warnings and acts as if she is helpless to defend herself thanks to her husband´s cowardly betrayal of his wife and family. The scene ends when Macduff´s castle is raided by murderers sent by Macbeth to kill Macduff finding Macduff has left and killing his wife and children instead. This scene plays an important role in the play as it shows just how evil Macbeth has become and also provides a clear contrast between Lady Macduff and Lady Macbeth who is questionably more evil than Macbeth. The scene follows the clear theme of life, death, treachery and evil, which

follows through the whole of the play When the play would have been preformed it would have frightened the audience as it covered everything, which they were scared of, and all that they feared. The presentation of Lady Macduff in act four scene two We are first introduced to Lady Macduff at the start of act four scene two where she is having a conversation with Ross and is unknowingly about to be savagely murdered by Macbeth´s gang of murderers. Ross is there to try and calm Lady Macduff down after she receives the news that her husband has fled the country and left her and his children unprotected. She believes that he has done this in an attempt to save himself with no regard for her. We the audience know however that he has fled to try and protect them and help in an effort

to overthrow Macbeth and bring order back to Scotland. The scene opens with Ross and Lady Macduff having a conversation about why her husband has suddenly decided to flee to England. Lady Macduff is confused as to why her husband has done this to them and what he may have done to necessitate fleeing the country. “What has he done, to make him fly the land.” This clearly shows that she is confused as to his motive. It could also show she is suspicious about what he may have been getting himself into that would cause him to need to flee from a danger that awaited him in Scotland. Ross then sets out exactly where he stands on the matter by defending Macduff and telling Lady Macduff not to jump to conclusions and make a mistake. He also tries to calm her down and help her come to