How does this short scene advance the plotAct 2 Scene 4

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pirateteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In this short scene in Macbeth, the audience learns more background information about what has been going on since Duncan's death.

During the scene, Ross talks with an old ma about odd events that have been occurring since Duncan's death. Duncan's horse broke out and ate one another, and the weather has become very strange.

And Duncan's horses—a thing most strange and
Beauteous and swift, the minions of their race,
Turn'd wild in nature, broke their stalls, flung out,
Contending ’gainst obedience, as they would make(20)
War with mankind.

These unnatural acts show the unnatural deed Macbeth has committed by killing his king, and the men rightly debate that these acts have to do with the death of their king.

MacDuff joins the conversation, as a choral character, a explains that Duncan's body has been moved to Colmekill (the place where kings are buried) and that Macbeth has been named Duncan's successor. Ross leaves for Scone where Macbeth coronation will be held and MacDuff leaves for Fife. As he leaves, MacDuff predicts the worst is not over.

ROSS: Where is Duncan's body?MACDUFF: Carried to Colmekill,
The sacred storehouse of his predecessors
And guardian of their bones.