Characters: Malcolm, Macduff, a Doctor, Rosse
Location: England, A room in the King’s palace.
Events: In England, Malcolm is visited by Macduff. Malcolm is suspicious, fearing that Macduff might betray him to Macbeth for personal reward. Macduff is dismayed to be suspected in this way. To test Macduff’s loyalty, Malcolm pretends to be even more sinful than Macbeth. Malcolm pretends to be lustful and avaricious and lacking in all the virtues that a king should possess. Finally believing that Malcolm is as full of vices as he claims, Macduff angrily rejects him as fit to rule Scotland. This is the reassurance that Malcolm needs and he explains that he had lied about his vices to test Macduff’s loyalty. As Malcolm explains King Edward the Confessor’s powers to cure ‘the King’s evil’, Rosse arrives to report the latest news from Scotland. Rosse reports that Macduff’s family are well and that good men are preparing to rebel against Macbeth’s tyranny. Malcolm confirms his plans to invade Scotland with the support of an English army. Rosse breaks the news to Macduff about the murder of his wife and children. Malcolm tried to comfort Macduff over the loss of his family. They leave to prepare for the invasion of Scotland