Instead of attending Macbeth’s coronation, Macduff plans to travel home. How might this choice be significant?

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From the perspective of Macduff, he chooses to not attend the coronation probably not so much as an act of defiance, but rather, as a way to separate himself. He knows the Macbeths are to blame for King Duncan 's death and needs space—physical and emotional—from Scotland in order...

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From the perspective of Macduff, he chooses to not attend the coronation probably not so much as an act of defiance, but rather, as a way to separate himself. He knows the Macbeths are to blame for King Duncan's death and needs space—physical and emotional—from Scotland in order to figure out exactly what happened.

It is important to understand the Weird Sisters' manipulation of Macbeth; were they giving him nuggets to get him to do things or were they actually telling him the truth? Macduff leaving is necessary to execute the fates that they and Hecate conjured (pun intended) because, after all, he is Macbeth's foil.

This also sets the stage for Macbeth to send the murderers to his home to try to kill Macduff, but instead kills his family as a message. This plays very well into the debate of fate and its role in the play. Had Macduff stayed, he couldn't have tried to right the wrongs of the Macbeths, his family probably wouldn't be murdered, and there wouldn't be the story we have today.

The choice is significant because it starts the chain of events that lead to the crumble of the Macbeths' rule on Scotland. Had he played into their ruse, Macduff would have probably befallen the same fate as Banquo.

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Macduff's refusal to attend Macbeth's coronation is the first sign of his disrespect for Macbeth. He is sure that Macbeth murdered King Duncan and that he has no right to the crown. Macduff will be one of the first to flee to England to lend his support to Malcolm, Duncan's eldest son, who is raising an army to overthrow Macbeth. Macbeth naturally resents Macduff's conspicuous absence at the coronation and understands that the Thane of Fife is a powerful enemy who could influence others to turn against him as well. Then when he learns that Macduff has fled to England, he decides to take revenge and make an example of him by murdering his entire family. Macduff might have been wiser to attend the coronation and to conceal his suspicions and hatred, which is what Banquo did, although Banquo was just as outraged and disaffected as Macduff.

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