Why does Macduff want to kill Macbeth himself in Macbeth by William Shakespeare?

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litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Macduff wants to kill Macbeth because Macbeth killed his entire household, and because Macbeth is driving their country into the ground.

Everyone wants the bloodthirsty Macbeth gone, but Macduff has a very personal reason.  Macbeth had his wife, son, and household murdered.

All my pretty ones?

Did you say all? O hell-kite! All?

What, all my pretty chickens and their dam

At one fell swoop?(255) (Act 4, Scene 3, enotes pdf p. 74)

Malcolm tries to convince Macduff to channel his grief into revenge.

Let's make us medicines of our great revenge,(250)

To cure this deadly grief. (Act 4, Scene 3, enotes pdf p. 74)

Of course, Macduff does not need much convincing.  He needs to avenge to terrible, unnecessary slaughter of his family.  Revenge works best when you do it yourself.  Macduff also feels responsible.

Macduff is also "the first character to suggest his suspicion regarding Macbeth's ascension to the throne" (character analysis).

Sinful Macduff,

They were all struck for thee! Naught that I am,

Not for their own demerits, but for mine,

Fell slaughter on their souls. Heaven rest them now! (Act 4, Scene 3, enotes pdf p. 74)

Macduff realizes that his family was killed because of his relationship with Macbeth, so he feels the need to personally avenge them.


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