Character Sketch of Macduff in Macbeth

Macduff stands out as a noble and honest man. He has been a loyal and brave soldier for Duncan, but not the same to Macbeth. Since the beginning, Macduff finds it difficult to trust Macbeth. He even distrusts Macbeth’s claim that the servants had killed Duncan and also finds it hard to believe that Duncan’s sons, Malcolm and Donalbain, have conspired to kill their own father. Macduff’s suspicion towards Macbeth is evident when he does not attend Macbeth’s coronation. Macbeth too understands that he does not have the loyalty of Macduff and perceives him as a threat. Macduff’s decision to flee the country shows that he is smart and foresees the danger. However, his reason behind abandoning his wife and children without any defence or protection is never fully understood. It can be his strong sense of patriotism towards his country that compels him to immediately seek help from the king of England to save his country from Macbeth. Nevertheless, the guilt of leaving his family defenceless hits him hard when he gets the news of their murder. He turns his guilt into a weapon of revenge against Macbeth. He is deeply hurt by his family’s death and displays a strong motivation for revenge. The desire for revenge gives him strength till the very end and that is precisely what makes him victorious against Macbeth.

The play portrays Macduff as an example of a true honest man. His strength of character is brilliantly displayed when he is tested by Malcolm at King Edward’s palace. He does not show any desire or greed to take the throne for himself. He comes across as a trustworthy and loyal man who cannot be corrupted even through temptations. Macduff also displays extreme emotional strength as he does not let his grief and guilt overcome him. He sensibly uses his emotion to mould his focus towards overthrowing Macbeth both for personal revenge and to serve the good of his country. By killing Macbeth, Macduff simultaneously deals with his own guilt, avenges his family and places the future of the country in the capable hands of Malcolm.

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