Throughout Act 4, scene 3 of Macbeth, several derogatory terms are used to refer to Macbeth.  Make a list of these terms. 

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shakespeareguru's profile pic

shakespeareguru | Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

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In this scene, Malcolm and Macduff have lots to say against Macbeth.  They blame the nearly irreparable state of affairs in Scotland on Macbeth's bloodthirsty killing spree.  Here are some of the terms they use to describe him:

  • "this tyrant, whose sole name blisters our tongues" (Malcolm)
  • Macduff says, "I am not treacherous."  Malcolm answers, "But Macbeth is."
  • "black Macbeth" (Malcolm)
  • "Not in the legions/Of horrid hell can come a devil more damn'd/In evils to top Macbeth" (Macduff)
  • "I grant him bloody/Luxurious, avaricious, false, deceitful/Sudden, malicious, smacking of every sin/That has a name. . ." (Malcolm)

And this list is only from reading through the scene up to line 60.  The scene is a rather long one, 240 lines, and holds many more derogatory terms that you can glean from a careful reading.  I hope that these get you started.

kc4u's profile pic

kc4u | College Teacher | (Level 3) Valedictorian

Posted on

Malcolm, Macduff and Ross refer to Macbeth as the 'tyrant', a term that  is used  repeatedly by others as well, before and after this scene. There are two more derogatory terms in the scene, terms referring to the devilish nature of Macbeth. Macduff is told by Ross that Macduff's castle at Fife came under surprise-attack and his wife and children were ' savagely slaughtered'. Macduff was terribly upset to call Macbeth a 'hell-kite' that killed all his 'pretty chickens and their dam/ At one fell swoop'.  A little later, towards the close of the scene, Macduff again refers to Macbeth as a hellish creature--' ..this fiend of Scotland'.

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