Can you please explain the significance and the situation of this quotation from Macbeth:
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Act II, Scene IV of Macbeth begins a few days after the events of Scene III. So, it is a few days after Macbeth has killed Duncan. Ross is speaking to an old man about the events that have transpired from the time of the murder to the present moment. Ross addresses him as "good father," a general way of addressing an older man. The old man begins the scene by saying that in all the 70 years of his life, he has never seen things so strange, dark and threatening:
Threescore and ten I can remember well,
Within the volume of which time I have seen
Hours dreadful and things strange, but this sore night
Hath trifled former knowings. (II.iv.1-4)
Ross agrees, saying that it is daytime but "dark night strangles the travelling lamp." Night obscures the sun ("traveling lamp") indicating that even the heavens are behaving strangely; the state of things is literally and figuratively dark. The old man notes that this is an unnatural state. Macbeth's crime has unleashed a supernatural chaos. The sky is dark when it should be light, and Duncan's horses went wild and ate each other. Scotland is in chaos.
The scene ends with Macduff and Ross discussing the upcoming coronation of Macbeth and Malcolm's and Donalbain's suspicious absence.
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