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Before the scene opens in Act 4 Scene 2, Ross has told Lady Macduff that her husband has fled from Scotland. The scene opens with Lady Macduff being deeply agitated. She is demanding to know why he fled and is saying that fear may make a person flee and fleeing makes such a person look like a traitor even though they are not. She goes on to say that if Macduff was in danger, then surely she and her children must also be in danger.
Ross explains that it is either fear or wisdom that may make a man flee and that he believes Macduff to be wise and judicious. He also says that Macduff knows how to act wisely in dangerous times and eludes to the fact that Macbeth's spies are everywhere.
Ross ends by saying that if Macduff did flee because he was afraid, then he would have had good reason for his fear. Ross departs after saying he will return and on his way out sees Mcduff's boy who has heard Lady Macduff's ranting about MacDuff acting like a traitor.
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