William Shakespeare
Contributed by Sharon Fleming

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Act 5 Scene 7

Scene VII paves the way for Macbeth’s destruction. Flurries of activity happens, and it is evident that Macbeth’s fall is closer than ever before. Siward’s courageous son challenges Macbeth, something that should not normally happen to a king. On the other side of the battle, Macduff searches for the man responsible for killing his family. Finally, Macbeth's troops at Dunsinane surrender. However, the conflict has not yet ended.


Macbeth appears in the image of a baited bear, a captured animal. His statement that “they have tied me to a stake: I cannot fly” shows he has no way out. He is powerless in front of his adversary, and the only thing that he can do is to wait patiently for his fate. Then, the young Siward taunts Macbeth with the words “devil” and “lier,” trying to infuriate the king. Macbeth proves too powerful against the young Siward. He kills him and tells his corpse that “thou wast born of woman.”

When the dark and vengeful figure of Macduff takes the stage, his fury and wrath is unmistakable. He describes his obligation to his deceased family. The only way through which Macduff can take away the guilt of abandoning his family is to avenge their murder. Moreover, the senior Siward reveals the fact that Macbeth's soldiers surrendered at Dunsinane with little resistance. For now, he remains unaware that Macbeth has killed his son.

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