Old Man

[This is the only appearance of the Old Man.]



Keith Shouse as the Old Man.

Source: Southwest Minnesota State University


"Threescore and ten I can remember well: / Within the volume of which time I have seen / Hours dreadful and things strange" (2.4.1-3). These words of the Old Man open the scene immediately following the scene in which the murder of King Duncan is discovered. Speaking with Ross, the Old Man recounts all the terrible events of the night, such as the king's horses breaking loose and eating one another. Ross draws the conclusion that nature is angry at the murder of the King. Then Macduff enters, and the Old Man listens as Ross and Macduff discuss the question of who did the murder. Their guarded words suggest that they have serious doubts about the idea that the grooms killed King Duncan and were bribed to do so by Malcolm and Donalbain. Nevertheless, the Old Man hopes for the best, and his blessing ends the scene: "God's benison go with you; and with those / That would make good of bad, and friends of foes! (2.4.40-41).      [Detailed Scene Summary]