What perspectives do Lady Macduff and her son provide that have not as yet found their way into this play about political intrigue and ambition?

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Susan Hurn | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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The tender scene between Lady Macduff and her son occurs shortly before they are murdered and ends in their final moments as they both die. This introduces new elements into the play in terms of the human toll exacted by Macbeth's savage tyranny. Here for the first time, we see a mother interacting with her young son; the love between them is obvious as they banter back and forth. Beneath Lady Macduff's teasing, however, her anxiety is obvious. Her husband and their protector has left them to join forces against Macbeth, answering a call to duty so strong that it draws him away from his family during a time of great political unrest in Scotland. Lady Macduff's fear and the sacrifice thrust upon her no doubt mirrors those of other wives and mothers in Scotland. Because we come to know Lady Macduff and her little boy personally, even for a few moments, their murders are then even more abominable.

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