In act IV of Macbeth, how does Malcolm describe himself to Macduff, and what is Macduff's response?  

In act IV of Macbeth, Malcolm claims a series of vices for himself as a test of character for Macduff. In the end, Macduff rejects Malcolm as unworthy of kingship and falls into despair for the future of Scotland. In doing so, he passes Malcolm's test, and Malcolm corrects himself on his earlier self-denunciations.

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In act 4, scene 3, Malcolm finds himself in a difficult position. Macbeth has "sought to win [him] / Into his power," and he is cautious about whom he can fully trust. So when Macduff comes to him about the possibility of rising up against Macbeth, Malcolm questions Macduff's true motives.

He therefore slanders himself as a test of Macduff's intentions. After all, if he can present himself as an utterly unfit leader and Macduff still encourages him to fight, he will know that Macduff's heart is not truly with Scotland.

Malcolm begins by saying that he cannot be trusted with the nation's wives and daughters, claiming that his lust is a powerful force that he cannot control. Undeterred, Macduff acknowledges that this isn't an ideal character trait but doesn't really think that it conflicts with becoming a good king. So Malcolm ups the ante, claiming that he is also quite greedy; he goes so far as to say that as king, he would "forge / Quarrels unjust against the good and loyal" just to lay claim to their wealth. Still, Macduff refuses to dismiss Malcolm as the future king, saying that Scotland has many treasures, and Malcolm still has numerous positive traits to balance out these relatively minor shortcomings.

Finally, Malcolm truly defames himself. He says that he lacks "justice, verity, temperance, stableness, / Bounty, perseverance, mercy, lowliness, / Devotion, patience, courage, fortitude." Macduff is seemingly stunned by what he believes is his own gross mischaracterization of the man whom he had hoped would be Scotland's savior. He can only lament, "O Scotland, Scotland!" He even goes so far as to tell Malcolm that not only does Malcolm not deserve to be King, but with such a lack of character, he doesn't even deserve to be alive.

Satisfied that Macduff's intentions are pure, Malcolm finally tells him that this conversation has been a scheme to test Macduff's "integrity."

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In act 4, scene 3, Malcolm determines to test Macduff's trustworthiness by way of deception. Thus, he claims to be a tyrant in the making, perhaps an even more unworthy candidate for kingship than Macbeth himself, and he makes claim to a series of vices in order to see how Macduff responds.

First Malcolm claims to be overly libidinous, possessed of insatiable lust. Macduff's response shows that he is tolerant of this vice, claiming Scotland to "have willing dames enough." Next, Malcolm claims to be overly greedy, with an insatiable avarice for the wealth of his subjects, but this too Macduff is willing to overlook, so long as Malcolm possesses other virtues to compensate. Here, Malcolm's reply is that he does not possess any of these requisite virtues at all, stating:

But I have none. The king-becoming graces,
As justice, verity, temperance, stableness,
Bounty, perseverance, mercy, lowliness,
Devotion, patience, courage, fortitude,
I have no relish of them, but abound
In the division of each several crime,
Acting it many ways. Nay, had I power, I should
Pour the sweet milk of concord into hell,
Uproar the universal peace, confound
All unity on earth.

This, for Macduff, is the final straw, and he thus rejects Malcolm as entirely unworthy of being king. He is here depicted as falling into sorrow for the future of Scotland. His country has already been in the grip of one tyrant, and now he finds that there is no apparent escape from its misery.

Such a response, however, is precisely what Malcolm had been searching for. As he proceeds to explain to Macduff, he needs to be careful about who he would take into his confidence, given the duplicity of Macbeth himself. Now that Macduff has proven his sincerity and character, Malcolm is swift to correct himself on all of those previous self-denunciations he had earlier raised:

For strangers to my nature. I am yet
Unknown to woman, never was forsworn,
Scarcely have coveted what was mine own,
At no time broke my faith, would not betray
The devil to his fellow, and delight
No less in truth than life.

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In Act IV, Scene III of Macbeth, in a conversation with Macduff, Malcolm describes himself in very negative and unflattering terms. He says that he is full of greed ("avarice"), for example, and that he would go as far as to invent quarrels with his noblemen just so that he could confiscate their lands and take their jewels. He also claims to be extremely lustful:

"But there’s no bottom, none,

In my voluptuousness."

His lust is so strong and so overpowering that no woman can satisfy him and no man is capable of standing in his way.

In response, Macduff acknowledges that greed and lust are indeed terrible sins and that they have caused the downfall of many kings. But he urges Malcolm to not be afraid since his lust can be hidden from public view and his greed can be satisfied by Scotland's numerous treasures.

For Macduff, Malcolm may have many character flaws but he is still a better man than Macbeth and it is for this reason that he tries to reassure him.

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In Act 4, sc. 3, which takes place in England, Malcolm wants to test Macduff's loyalty.  Malcolm wants to overthrow Macbeth and Macduff says he wants the same.  Malcolm, however, wants to be sure that Macduff is not tricking him and is not simply being a sycophant.  Malcolm figures that if he tells Macduff that he would be a worse person than Macbeth and a worse king than Macbeth and Macduff says that it is OK if Malcolm is like that, then Macduff doesn't really care about Scotland.  On the other hand, if Macduff is upset and no longer wants Malcolm to be king, then Malcolm will know that Macduff's loyalty is with the country.  In Malcolm's "test" he tells Macduff that he'd have every character flaw and vile trait possible; he'd be lustful, greedy, selfish, dishonest, cowardly, etc.  Macduff's response is that not only does Malcolm not deserve to be king, he does not deserve to live having such horrible faults.  With those words, Malcolm confesses his "trick" to Macduff and tells him that the only lie he's ever told is the one he just told to Macduff about having terrible faults.  He says that now he is sure where Macduff's loyalty rests and he is pleased and contented.

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