I am struggling to write a monologue from Macduff's perspective that takes place after Macbeth's death and the ascension of Malcolm to the throne of Scotland. Some ideas... From the moment that...

I am struggling to write a monologue from Macduff's perspective that takes place after Macbeth's death and the ascension of Malcolm to the throne of Scotland.

Some ideas... From the moment that Macduff learned of the death of his wife and kids, it seems to me as though there's really nothing left for him but a thirst for revenge. Now that Macbeth is dead...what does he do? What's left to live for?

But the problem is I don't even know where to start. If you can help, or provide me some recoomendations please do, I would be so grateful, thanks in advance! 

Expert Answers
caledon eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Admittedly, the greatest difficulty in approaching this question from the perspective of an advisor and tutor is the lack of additional and specific criteria, combined with the abundant amount of options we can imagine this task exploring. For me, my thoughts immediately go to Macduff's function in the play; should we see him as an independent character who happens to be the "good guy", or an embodiment of morality that fulfills a function within the plot, for example his purpose is dictated by the dramatic structure of the story? Other possibilities along this line would involve asking how much our own understanding of Macduff may or may not align with Shakespeare's vision of the character, and what it means for us to confirm or reject the character as he exists within the canon of the text.

As far as what is "left to live for," after defeating Macbeth, Macduff is still thane of Fife, as well as an earl, "the first that ever Scotland / in such an honor named," as bestowed by Malcolm in the final lines of the play. Macduff surely has his old responsibilities to look after, as well as new ones, and the fact that his actions upon killing Macbeth go immediately toward recognizing Malcolm as the new king suggest that he is wholly devoted to the traditional rule of law, and is untainted by the corruption and egotism that plagued Macbeth. Macduff might serve as a sort of bloodhound, ferreting out the kind of supernaturally-inspired treachery that led to the events of the play. 

An element missing from the play is, indeed, a sense of what comes next. We might look to Beowulf for inspiration here, for in the final lines of the story Wiglaf recounts several of the blood feuds that will surely be rekindled in the wake of Beowulf's death. Likewise, Macduff might look to securing Scotland's borders from invaders, inside and out, who might seek to exploit the weakness of Malcolm's regime as it establishes itself; perhaps a return of the Irish or Norwegians from Act 1, or the families of the traitorous nobles that aided them. Macduff might also take pause to consider where Macbeth acquired the prophecy that failed to save him, leading him on a literal witch-hunt.

tjbrewer eNotes educator| Certified Educator

You may need to adjust this to make it sound Shakespearean, but it is what I would say were I in Macduff's shoes. 

Now though the tyrant at my feet lies dead; my heart remains an empty hole.  When he ordered my wife and family killed all I wanted was to impose the same price on him.  Now I realize I cannot bring them back.  And killed a King I too have done, though a tyrant was he.  Is my crime less than his, or must I rejoin my family.  Thy Majesty Malcolm, thy judgement please? 

I did my best at mimicking the Bard's Poetry.  I hope this helps you get started. 

wanderista | Student

I agree with tjbrewer, it is important to speak in Shakespearean dialogue. Be careful to avoid incorporating modern sentences or jargon (language).

In regards to what Macduff could be speaking about, it could a victory speech. Macduff could be most joyous that the tyrant Macbeth is finally dead. Or, Macduff could be introspective - did Macbeth represent a greater evil in us all? Or even, Macduff could want to take the throne himself and kill Malcolm. 

Good luck!