Act 4, Scene 3 Summary
Location: England. A room in the King’s palace.
Characters: Malcolm, Macduff, Doctor, Rosse
Events: In England, Macduff visits Malcolm. Malcolm is very suspicious of Macduff, thinking he might betray him to Macbeth, and Macduff is appalled by this. Malcolm wants to test Macduff to see if he can trust him and he is loyal by pretending to be more sinful than Macbeth. He gives Macduff plenty of reasons to think he is unfit to rule Scotland. Macduff angrily rejects him, and this assures his loyalty. Malcolm admits to lying about his sins to test him. Rosse arrives to deliver the lastest news from Scotland as Malcolm explains King Edward’s powers to cure ‘the King’s evil’ to Macduff. Rosse reports that Macduff’s family are well, and that a rebel against the King of Scotland is being planned. Malcolm confirms his plans to invade Scotland with the aid of an English army. Rosse cannot keep in the terrible news, and tells Macduff about the murder of his family. Malcolm attempts to comfort Macduff over the loss of his wife and children. They then leave to prepare to invade Scotland.
Quote: “Let not your ears despise my tongue for ever,
Which shall possess them with the heaviest sound
That ever yet heard.” -Rosse (about the dreadful news of Macduff’s family being murdererd under Macbeth’s power)