Do you agree with Macduff's choice of leaving his wife and children or do you think what he did was wrong? Why?  

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Macduff ends up fleeing Scotland and travels to England in order to support the rightful heir to the Scottish throne, Malcolm, and convince him to retake the title of king from Macbeth. Macduff views Macbeth as a ruthless tyrant, who is ruining Scotland and desperately wishes for Malcolm...

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Macduff ends up fleeing Scotland and travels to England in order to support the rightful heir to the Scottish throne, Malcolm, and convince him to retake the title of king from Macbeth. Macduff views Macbeth as a ruthless tyrant, who is ruining Scotland and desperately wishes for Malcolm to retake what is rightfully his. In act four, scene three, Macduff expresses his desire to support Malcolm and save Scotland by saying,

Let us rather Hold fast the mortal sword and, like good men, Bestride our downfall'n birthdom. Each new morn New widows howl, new orphans cry, new sorrows Strike heaven on the face, that it resounds As if it felt with Scotland and yelled out Like syllable of dolor (Shakespeare, 4.3.3-9).

While Macduff's decision to support Malcolm and defeat Macbeth is admirable, he leaves his family behind in Scotland, where they are defenseless and vulnerable. Macbeth ends up slaughtering Macduff's entire family, which was the price Macduff paid for leaving Scotland and attempting to undermine Macbeth's authority. After Ross gives Macduff the tragic news about his family, Macduff laments his decision to leave Scotland by saying,

That were most precious to me. Did heaven look on, And would not take their part? Sinful Macduff, They were all struck for thee! Naught that I am, Not for their own demerits, but for mine, Fell slaughter on their souls. Heaven rest them now (Shakespeare, 4.3.230-235).

One could make the argument that Macduff should have remained in Scotland to protect his family. However, if Macduff did not flee Scotland, he would not have been able to support Malcolm and defeat Macbeth at the end of the play. Therefore, one could argue that it was necessary for Macduff to leave his family behind in order to defeat Macbeth and save the entire country.

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MacDuff choose to leave his family in an attempt to protect and preserve his country, as seen in the following lines:

O nation miserable,
With an untitled tyrant bloody-scepter'd,
When shalt thou see thy wholesome days again,
Since that the truest issue of thy throne
By his own interdiction stands accursed,
And does blaspheme his breed?  (Act IV Scene III)

In that regard, he was honorable.

However, by leaving his family, he was unable to protect them, a fact that both is wife (“how wilt thou do for a father?”) and his son (“Nay, how will you do for a husband?”) recognized (Act IV Scene II).

Ultimately, one needs to decide if one should be more loyal to country or to family.

 

 

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