In Macbeth, Act 3 Scene 6, what is the political scenario of Scotland in reference to the conversation between Lennox and the unnamed lord?

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teachsuccess eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The events in Act 3 Scene 6 illustrate the political machinations which are threatening to subvert the integrity of the Scottish court.

Lennox's conversation with the the unnamed lord highlights a latent distrust of Macbeth among the Scottish nobles, a distrust which foreshadows Macbeth's eventual death at Macduff's hands. Lennox proclaims that Macbeth 'has borne all things well,' but the shadow of suspicion hovers over his implication that Macbeth's actions have been a little too convenient:

Damnèd fact!
How it did grieve Macbeth! Did he not straight
In pious rage the two delinquents tear
That were the slaves of drink and thralls of sleep?
After all, the servants are executed quickly, without benefit of discussion or trial. The unnamed lord admits that Malcolm has gone to the English court to ask the help of Edward the Confessor, so that
we may again
Give to our tables meat, sleep to our nights,
Free from our feasts and banquets bloody knives,
Do faithful homage and receive free honors.
All which we pine for now.
Furthermore, Macbeth's rage is clear for all to see; he has ordered Macduff to return to Scotland, but Macduff has chosen not to obey his lord's orders. The schism in the Scottish court prepares the way for the English-Scottish alliance which will overthrow the 'accursed' tyrant Lennox refers to at the close of Act 3 Scene 6.

Some holy angel
Fly to the court of England and unfold
His message ere he come, that a swift blessing
May soon return to this our suffering country
Under a hand accursed!
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