Macbeth Questions and Answers
by William Shakespeare

Macbeth book cover
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Whose ambition is the driving force of the play Macbeth:  Mabeth's, Lady Macbeth's or both of them?

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Both Macbeth and his wife display their ambitious nature by plotting and participating in King Duncan's assassination. Despite Macbeth's initial reluctance to commit regicide, his comments regarding how he will attain the title of king reveal his ambition. Immediately after Macbeth learns that one of the prophecies has come true, he begins thinking about murdering Duncan. Macbeth says,

"If good, why do I yield to that suggestion Whose horrid image doth unfix my hair And make my seated heart knock at my ribs" (Shakespeare, 1.3.138-140).

In Act One, Scene 4, Macbeth once again displays his ambitious nature after King Duncan declares that Malcolm will be next in line to sit on the throne. Macbeth describes his ambition as "black and deep desires" by saying,

"The prince of Cumberland! That is a step On which I must fall down, or else o'erleap, For in my way it lies. Stars, hide your fires; Let not light see my black and deep desires. The eye wink at the hand, yet let that be Which the eye fears,...

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