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In act 4, scene 2 of Macbeth, what is the irony in Lady Macduff's words to her son...

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nikifal | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 22, 2007 at 7:20 PM via web

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In act 4, scene 2 of Macbeth, what is the irony in Lady Macduff's words to her son about his father?

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sagetrieb | College Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted October 22, 2007 at 8:08 PM (Answer #2)

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Lady Macduff tells her son that his father is a traitor and is dead. The irony tis that he is very much alive, working to rid the country of the real traitor, who is Macbeth. Following her conversation with her son, she is murdered by Macbeth's men, and in the next scene, 4.3., Macduff mourns the death of his family, this giving him more courage and determination to fight the tyrant, Macbeth.

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luannw | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

Posted October 23, 2007 at 1:23 AM (Answer #3)

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Lady Macduff knows her husband is alive and that he is not a traitor to Scotland.  She is angry with him (he's a traitor to her and the children) because he left her and his children to go to England to team up with Malcolm.  She feels his place was there protecting her and the rest of his family.  It is ironic because she was right - she is killed, as are her children.  Had Macduff been there to protect them, they may have survived the attack.

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