Macduff is a Scottish nobleman and the thane of Fife. We first are introduced to Macduff in Act 2 Scene 3 when he is the one who discovers King Duncan dead at Macbeth’s castle. Macduff actually suspects Macbeth of regicide and opposes Macbeth as King. He doesn’t attend Macbeth’s coronation and claims to be returning home to Fife. Instead, he heads to England to join Malcolm and convince him to come back to Scotland to claim the throne from Macbeth. Around the same time, Macbeth visited the witches again who warned him to “beware Macduff, beware the thane of Fife.” As Macbeth was fearful of anything that could jeopardize his position, he ordered the death of Macduff’s wife and family. Having convinced Malcolm to gather an army and now seeking revenge for his family’s death, Macduff returns to Scotland with Malcolm and his army to face Macbeth. Macduff confronts Macbeth, they fight and Macduff kills him. He gives Malcolm Macbeth’s head and hails him the new king. In contrast to Macbeth, Macduff is portrayed as good versus Macbeth’s bad. He has integrity where Macbeth is lacking any moral compass. Another point of difference between Macduff and Macbeth is their sensitivity especially in their view on death. Macduff shows emotional sensitivity in reacting with grief to his family’s death when he says, “But I must also feel it as a man.” Macbeth as well as Lady Macbeth believe manhood includes denying feelings. We see Macduff’s emotional side when he finds Duncan dead and responds crying, “O, horror, horror, horror.” This is a contrast to Macbeth’s indifferent response to Lady Macbeth’s death when he says “She should have died hereafter/There would have been a time for such a word/Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow. In the end, the good, Macduff, prevails over the evil, Macbeth when Macduff kills Macbeth, ending the tyrant’s reign. Macduff is the hero defeating the antihero, Macbeth.
Analysis by Brendan Blees