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Macbeth Act 2 Scene 4. What is revealed here about the play's themes? Is there any indication of the events which follow?

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Introduction

Macbeth Re-read Act 2 Scene 4. What is revealed here about the play's themes? Is there any indication of the events which follow? Pay particular attention to the language and quote in support of the points you make. In Act 2 Scene 4, the Thane of Ross and an old man are discussing the night of Duncan's murder and the unnatural events that have followed. Macduff enters the scene, bringing the other two men's information up-to-date. There are a variety of themes explored in Macbeth but this scene focuses on the unnatural. By highlighting the unnatural events, Shakespeare would have succeeding in showing the disorder following the death of the King. Outside Macbeth's castle, Ross enters with an old man. The pair are in deep discussion with Duncan's murder fresh in their minds. The old man thinks back over the last seventy years and comments on how all past events now seem trivial in comparison to the murder of the King of Scotland. ...read more.

Middle

The old man compares the deviant nature to Duncan's death; highlighting the connection between nature and society for all whom previously may not have noticed it. The old man tells the tale of the owl that ate a falcon and Ross and the old man discuss the late King Duncan's horses; 'Duncan's horses...turned wild with nature...'they eat each other...to th'amazement of mine eyes'. The particularly interesting part of the scene begins with the entrance of Macduff. Upon Ross asking if it is known who murdered Duncan, Macduff replies 'Those that Macbeth hath slain'. This response shows that Macduff is suspicious of Macbeth. The tone in which he replied was impassive and the use of the word slain for the murdered men indicates that Macduff doesn't think the men were the murders and were killed unfairly. When Macbeth kills the guards in the previous scene, it is questioned by the other men. ...read more.

Conclusion

Ross' readiness to align himself with the new regime is highlighted by his decision to watch the coronation. Similarly Macduff's unwillingness is highlighted by his not going to Scone. Having such a powerful detractor from the very start of Macbeth's new career cannot be a good thing. This scene shows us that if Macbeth is not careful in the way he governs his country he already has at least one man who may stand against him and possibly restore the order of society and nature as murdering a King could not have gone unpunished. With Macbeth most likely being written for King James I, having a King be murdered and the murder getting away with it would not have been a wise choice for the storyline. With this knowledge and the understanding that Macbeth is under Macduff's suspicion it would be safe to assume at this point that later on in the play a conflict of some sort may take place between the two men and Macbeth will lose as he was the one who really murdered the rightful King. ...read more.

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