Macduff harbors suspicions about the actual murderer of Duncan, is notably absent from Macbeth's coronation and joins Malcolm in gathering and leading the forces that defeat the play's title character. Learning that Macduff has turned against him, Macbeth dispatches murderers to kill Macduff's family. Apprised that this heinous act is at hand, Lady Macduff reacts by asking the messenger "Whither should I fly?/I have done no harm" (IV, ii., ll.73-74). Unlike the other evil deeds that Macbeth and his wife commit, the slaughter of Macduff's family has no instrumental value; it occurs after...
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