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What is the cause of MacDuff's family being murdered? |

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In Shakespeare's Macbeth, the direct cause of Macduff's family being murdered is that Macbeth orders it to be done.  After he gets his second dose of prophecies from the witches, Macbeth is informed that Macduff has fled to England.  His immediate reaction is to order the killing of Macduff's family:

The castle of Macduff I will surprise,

Seize upon Fife, give to th'edge o'th'sword

His wife, his babes, and all unfortunate souls

That trace him in his line. (IV:1) 

Macbeth has just been told during his visions to beware of Macduff, and once the witches are gone he declares that from now on he will not hesitate to act upon his thoughts, he will act decisively.  When he's told Macduff has fled, the above speech is his reaction.

Why Macbeth orders this is, psychologically speaking, another issue, but I'll let another editor handle that aspect of your question.

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