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The three kings in Shakespeare’s play “Macbeth,” Duncan, Malcolm, and Macbeth, have quite different ways of ruling.

The three kings that reign in “Macbeth” each have a different

perspective on their ambition. Macbeth is an extremely ambitious

man who will do just about anything to achieve his goals. He is never

satisfied even after he is given the title as Thane of Cawdor. This just

makes him want the throne even more. “The Prince of Cumberland!

That is a step on which I must fall down, or else o’er leap, for in my

way it lies.” (p. 159) After Duncan announced that his eldest son

Malcolm would be heir to the throne, Macbeth decided he must kill

Duncan in order to gain the throne. This is the kind of sick ambition

that Macbeth shows throughout the play. Duncan is a much less

ambitious man than Macbeth. He really shows little ambition during

his small part in the play. In the opening act of “Macbeth” the only

ambition that Duncan shows is when he finds that the Thane of

Cawdor is a traitor. “What he hath lost, noble Macbeth hath won.” (p.

151) Duncan is talking about giving the title of Thane to Macbeth.

He shows a bit of ambition in doing this. Malcolm is King Duncan’s

son. When his father is killed he flees along with his brother. His

ambition is not necessarily to be king but eventually to find and kill

the man who killed his father. He also wants to get Macbeth off the

throne. He leads a revolt against Macbeth. “Cousins, I hope the days

are near at hand that chambers will be safe.” (p. 216) Malcolm is a

courageous man that is fighting for the freedom of himself and his


In “Macbeth,” Duncan, Malcolm, and Macbeth each have

different ways that their subjects look to them. King Duncan is

generally seen as a good king. His subjects look up to them and are

loyal for the most part. Duncan is a generous king that care...

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Macbeth . (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 14:47, October 05, 2015, from