Why does Macbeth have Macduff`s family murdered?
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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.
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