Lady Macbeth is more ambitious, though her ambition has to be largely vicarious. These are her first words in the play, after reading her husband's letter:
Glamis thou art, and Cawdor; and shalt be
What thou art promised: yet do I fear thy nature;
It is too full o' the milk of human kindness
To catch the nearest way: thou wouldst be great;
Art not without ambition, but without
The illness should attend it: what thou wouldst highly,
That wouldst thou holily...
First, there is the exclamation of triumph, not for herself but for him. Despite her great strength of character, Lady Macbeth knows that she is only the wife of Glamis, now the wife of Cawdor, and that the highest hope she can have is to be the wife of and influencer of the King. To bring herself high, she must bring him higher. Her next concern is that Macbeth is too good a man to achieve what he must. She must use him, almost as a pawn, while propelling him to the throne.
Before Macbeth enters in act 1,...
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