Macbeth

by: William Shakespeare

Five Key Questions

Summary Five Key Questions

2) Did Macbeth always want to be king?

The audience sees Macbeth for the first time just moments before he and Banquo encounter the Witches. Thus, there’s not much time for the audience to learn anything about Macbeth before the Witches’ prophesy. However, immediately upon hearing that he will be king, Macbeth seems to have a strong reaction, causing Banquo to say “Good sir, why do you start and seem to fear/ Things that do sound so fair?” (1.3.) Macbeth’s reaction suggests he has powerful feelings about the prospect of being king. Similarly, when Lady Macbeth reads a letter from Macbeth telling of the prophecies for his future, she immediately begins to plot to kill Duncan and take the throne, suggesting that Lady Macbeth has also always dreamed of being queen.