Act 2 Scene 4

- Shakespeare chose to include events that happened the night Duncan was murdered because it shows that nature is disturbed and is reflecting human actions

 

'Gainst nature still!Thriftless ambition, that will raven upThine own lives' means! Then ’tis most like- Ross


Macduff has identified Malcolm and Donalbain as the prime suspects in Duncan’s murder, an act that goes against the proper order of the universe. Ross believes that it is the sons’ ambition that has prompted this act. As a result, Macbeth will be crowned King instead of Malcolm.

 

Questions


The Old Man and Ross discuss the many unnatural things that occurred the night Kind Duncan was murdered. List three strange things that happened that night.

 

- The Horses were wild and ate each other

- Owl killed Eagle

- It was dark in the morning when it should’ve been light

 


Why have Malcolm and Donalbain become prime suspects?

 

Malcolm and Donalbain became prime suspects because they fled from Scotland, which was a suspicious thing to do.  

 

 

Why is it significant that Macduff is not going to Scone to see Macbeth crowned?

 

- Macduff is going back home (Which is in Fife), therefore it shows that he doesn’t want/agree to Macbeth becoming king. It also shows disrespect to Macbeth.

 

- This shows that Macduff has certain morals (loyal, truth, justice) that he is not willing to change. He is saying to Macbeth that he is receiving the throne through a traitorous rule, therefore it shows that he could be an evil king.

 

- Macduff is loyal to what is just, and not to any king.

 

- This foreshadows that there will be a possible conflict between Macduff and Macbeth

 

 

 

Summary

 

Ross is talking to an Old Man; the Old Man says that nothing he remembers in the past 70 years of his life matchup to the events of the last night (referring to Duncan’s death). Ross agrees and notes that it is unusually dark and it seems like it may rain, reflecting the evil that mankind has just done. The Old Man references that a falcon was killed by an owl, which is unnatural just like the murder that was committed. Ross also mentions that Duncan’s well-trained horses were going wild and they ate each other. Those three events are all reflecting the murder that has just occurred, it is nature reflecting the work on mankind. Macduff enters and Ross asks if they know anything new. Macduff says that the servants killed Duncan and that Malcolm and Donalbain have fled making them prime suspects. Macduff suspects that it is possible that Duncan’s sons paid the servants to kill Duncan. Ross says that it is such a stupid ambition to kill the king to become king, especially for a king’s son to do so. Macduff tells Ross that Macbeth is already on his way to Scone to be named king and that he will not be going to watch. Ross says that he will go and Macduff wishes him that everything goes well.