Act 4, Scene 3
Characters: Macduff, Malcolm, Doctor and Rosse
Location: England, a room in the King’s palace,
Events: Malcolm is visited by Macduff. Malcolm is worried, he fears that Macduff might betray him to Macbeth for personal reward. Macduff is saddened that Malcolm thinks this.
To test Macduff’s loyalty, Malcolm pretends to be even harsher and crueler than Macbeth. He pretends to be greedy and lack all the qualities of a king. Macduff finally believes that Malcolm is sinful and rejects him as fit to rule Scotland. Malcolm is reassured of Macduff’s trust and explains that he lied to test his loyalty.
As Malcolm explains that King Edward has the power to cure “the King’s evil”, Rosse arrives to report the latest news from Scotland. Rosse states that Macduff’s family is well and that men are preparing to rebel against Macbeth. Malcolm confirms his plans to invade Scotland with support of the English army. Rosse breaks the news that Macduff’s family has been murdered. Malcolm comforts Macduff.
They leave to prepare for the invasion of Scotland.
Quotes: “Let us seek out some desolate shade and there
Weep our sad bosoms empty” – Malcolm