Why is Lady Macduff's conversation with her son included in the play?(why is this important). Please explain in detail.

1 Answer | Add Yours

Top Answer

kc4u's profile pic

kc4u | College Teacher | (Level 3) Valedictorian

Posted on

The conversation between Lady Macduff and her son in act 4 sc.2 shows a loving mother talking to her child thus highlighting love, care and concern that constitute motherhood. Lady Macduff is a wife and a mother and, unlike the other Lady in the play, Lady Macbeth, she is not bothered about the politics of power. She is upset at her husband's flight to England and apprehends trouble. She is very much concerned about her children and herself being unprotected because of her husband's flight. Thus she stands as a foil to the other Lady who even wanted to kill her baby while giving it a breast-feed.

Macduff's son is very innocently witty and speaks in his boyish playfulness. Nevertheless the boy betrays adult-like wisdom laced with his gift of humor and mischief , e.g.

Lady Macduff: But how wilt thou do for a father?

Son: If he were dead, you'd weep for him: if you would not, it were a good sign that I should quickly have a new father.

He even underpins the moral inversion of the Macbeth-world:

Son: Then the liars and swearers are fools, for there are liars and swearers enow to beat the honest men and hang up them.

This mother-child conversation shows the goodness of love in a suffocating world of ambition, violence and tyranny. When the murderers enter soon thereafter and kills the boy before our eyes, we can guess that the bottom line of Macbeth's degeneration is reached. This conversation underscores the only alternative discourse in a world of mad rush for power, namely, the discourse of love , love that ambition seems to throttle.

We’ve answered 318,915 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question