Homework Help

Why does Macbeth have Macduff`s family murdered?

user profile pic

leen25 | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted February 22, 2012 at 6:07 AM via web

dislike 1 like

Why does Macbeth have Macduff`s family murdered?

2 Answers | Add Yours

user profile pic

William Delaney | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

Posted February 22, 2012 at 9:08 AM (Answer #1)

dislike 1 like

Macbeth has two reasons for having Macduff's wife and children murdered. The first is to enact revenge against Macduff, who has fled to England to join Duncan's son Malcolm and assist in raising an army to attack Scotland and place Malcolm on the throne. The second reason is to make an example of Macduff and discourage other men from deserting him. In Act 4. Scene 1, Macbeth says: "The castle of Macduff I will surprise, / Seize upon Fife, give to th' edge o' th' sword / His wife, his babes, and all unfortunate souls / That trace him in his line." This is typical behavior for a tyrant. It is the sort of terrorism Adolf Hitler was to employ during World War II when officers and enlisted men believed that the war was lost and were turning against him. Macbeth can no longer count on loyalty or patriotism and feels he must rule by fear.

 

Sources:

user profile pic

chippybear2442 | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted February 22, 2012 at 6:24 AM (Answer #2)

dislike 0 like
Well First of all Mabeth doesn't have Macduff killed. Macbeth orders Macduff's family killed because he discovered that Macduff has fled to Duncan's son, Malcolm in England. Macbeth is suspecious that his downfall might be coming.

Join to answer this question

Join a community of thousands of dedicated teachers and students.

Join eNotes