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...