May 10, 2023
Fate and Free Will in Macbeth
People for generations have thought on the question of whether fate or free will is what drives us. Questions arise on fate and free will, some think there is only free will, while others only believe in fate. Macbeth, by William Shakespeare shows the effect fate can have on free will, while not leaving it all up to one or the other. Macbeth has fate in the plot of the play through the prophecies Macbeth and Banquo got from the witches. Free will of the characters is shown in their actions after learning of their fate. Macbeth still has relevance now where in modern day fate and free will are still relevant. Fate is brought up in the modern day with religion, just like …show more content…
The witches in Macbeth are the ones to give the prophecies, and while their prophecies are real, they are still not to be trusted. Before they come upon Macbeth and Banquo the witches are conspiring, “Fair is foul, and foul is fair, / Hover through the fog and filthy air”(Shakespeare 1, 1, 11-12). The witches do not display good intentions by telling them their fate, rather they seem mischievous. The reason for this might be that learning of your fate or anothers never seems to end well, which is why their fate came from witches. Rather knowing your fate leads to confusion, anxiety, and suspicion. Macbeth learns of his new title, “Glamis and thane of Cawdor: / The greatest is behind“(Shakespeare 1, 3, 124-125). Macbeth's prophecy predicted more power for himself, first predicting that he would become the thane of Cawdor, and then king. Fate in the story after this point has a big role, since they have learned part of the prophecy has already come true; you are left wondering how he will then become king. Macbeth claims after he learns this, that he will just let the prophecy play out and not interveer. His fate is much too desirable to him though, and soon he will overindulge in that fate and become deranged. Banquo’s prophecy is rather different from Macbeths, he learns that he will get a long line of kings, but will not become one himself. He seems much more …show more content…
While Macbeth and Banquo both stated that they would not stir because of the prophecy, Macbeth did. He sent a letter to his wife speaking of the prophecy, that they predicted he would become the Thane of Cawdor, then a king. He had already become the Thane of Cawdor, and to celebrate the king will be coming to their home. Lady Macbeth decides to take advantage of this opportunity, and plots to murder the king. Shakespeare writes, “Be so much more the man. Nor time nor place, / Did then adhere, and yet you would make both: / they have made themselves, and that their fitness now” (1, 7, 54-58). She wants him to use this opportunity to kill the king while he is at their home, since they have fate on their side. She is successful in convincing Macbeth to intervene with the prophecy using their free will. Macbeth and Lady Macbeth got corrupted by their promised fate, and since they had the opportunity to get it, they committed an act going against their morals. Fate such as theirs can corrupt a person making them do whatever it takes to get what they desire; their mind can become too full of ambition. After the murder of his king, Macbeth is distraught and feels guilty for his actions, but he reached his goal. Him and Lady Macbeth become the king and queen of Scotland, while Lady Macbeth feels more guilty as
English 12 2/27/2023 William Shakespeare's Macbeth is a tragic play that explores the themes of ambition, guilt, and the consequences of one's actions. The main character, Macbeth, is a tragic hero whose ambition leads him to commit heinous crimes, which ultimately lead to his downfall. Throughout the play, Macbeth attempts to control the future and bury the past in various ways, which ultimately contribute to his tragic fate. One way in which Macbeth tries to control the future is through his attempts to control the future is through his interaction with the witches and manipulation of the prophecies given to him by the three witches.
The first witch’s prophecy foreshadows that Macbeth will become king, making Banquo lesser than Macbeth. Eventually Banquo becomes gets the upper hand because Macbeth loses the support of those who were once close to him. The second witch’s prophecy predicts that Banquo will not be happy due to the death of King Duncan, but would be happy later on since Macbeth will feel remorse for the cause of King Duncan and Banquo’s death. The third witch's prediction states the fact that although Banquo would not be a king himself, this heirs would
Despite the fact that the play suggests that Macbeth has an existing choice regarding how he achieves this goal, the witches' prophecy suggests that Macbeth happens to be destined to become king. Due to the fact that his actions happen to be not predetermined, Macbeth happens to be free to choose his own course that belongs to action. However, inside of the end, his ambition as well as desire that is going to belong to power lead to his demise. The play makes the argument that free is going to as well as fate happen to be inextricably linked, as well as that our choices ultimately determine our
They give Banquo and Macbeth prophecies determining the characters' fate. Even though the witches play a big role, Banquo and Macbeth are the only characters to ever see them, leaving us to wonder if the witches are even real. The prophecies the witches give set up the storyline for the rest of the play. In the play, the characters start to make decisions based on what their prophecies said. The characters seem as though they have free will and they are making decisions on their own, yet it’s all to make the prophecies come true.
“If fate means you to lose give them a good fight anyhow” These lines best describe Macbeth's mindset in his final moments but was this indeed his fate or was it from a result of his failures such as not targeting the heirs of the king killed, destroying his comfortable life so that he could be a king, or giving his fated enemy to stop no matter the cost. The story of Macbeth is set in Scotland in the 11th century. The story is of a Scottish nobleman called Macbeth who receives a prophecy that he will become king, but the sons of his friend Banquo will have a dynasty, not Macbeth. Throughout the play, Macbeth gains and maintains his power through deceit and murder and was until may be overthrown by one of Banquo's sons. Although Macbeth at the end of the play resigned himself to his fate at the end of the play, one often wonders if he had simply done something different if he could have saved himself if he had done something different.
Shakespeare’s Macbeth, expresses the universal truth that one’s life is not determined by fate, but rather the choices that one makes; furthermore, how choosing poorly can lead to overwhelming feelings of guilt. The most prominent and underlying theme of Macbeth, is the concept of fate vs. free will, most clearly seen through the rising in power and eventual downfall of Macbeth himself. Early in the play, the Three Witches prophesied that Macbeth will become king of Scotland; however, the prophecy ends there. Macbeth exercises his free will and makes the decision to kill King Duncan and ensure his appointment to king.
Many people have the ability to choose between different courses of action throughout their life. Along with everyone else, Macbeth had the same opportunity to make choices out of free will rather than letting fate carve a path for him. In Macbeth, written by William Shakespeare, Macbeth is aware of his fate due to the prophecies of the three witches, but he rather take matters into his own hands to challenge his fate. After Macbeth recognizes his urge to become king he kills Duncan with the help of his wife, Lady Macduff. After killing Duncan, Macbeth has a guilty conscience that is taking over him.
Fate in Macbeth The theme of fate is presented in different forms in Act 2 of Shakespeare's play "Macbeth." The characters in the play are confronted with the concept of fate and the repercussions of their actions. There are several references to fate throughout the act, and characters wrestle with the notion of whether their actions can change their predetermined fate. Act 2 opens with Banquo and his son, Fleance, talking about the stars and their conviction that they can predict the future.
Macbeth admits that Banquo should be feared, mainly because he is a threat to the throne. Moreover, this fear degrades his character further, as Macbeth hires mercenaries to kill Banquo, rather than allowing the prophecy to come true naturally. In short, his fear of Banquo reveals his unhealthy obsession with the prophecy. Following Banquo’s murder, Macbeth realizes that “I am [he is] in blood / Stepped in so far that, should I [he] wade no more, /
On many occasions, people can be given half truths, like Macbeth was by the apparitions in Act 4, Scene 1, but it is the individual’s job to take from it what they will as Macbeth did, and make their own destiny. Another character that fate vs. freewill affected in Macbeth, was Malcolm, the rightful heir to the Scottish throne. It was Malcolm’s fate to take over when his father Duncan died, but it was his free will that led him to flee Scotland when Duncan was murdered in Act 2, Scene
and obtains the title, which trigger an arrogant and self-absorbed thinking leading to madness and finally, death. The play seems to bring up the question, whether Macbeth is fully responsible of his own destiny, or under control of fate. In the first glance, the play seems to take rather fatalistic direction, meaning that we are powerless to make decisions as they are inevitably determined by supernatural power (Hugh 1)) It is due to the presence of supernatural forces throughout the whole play that systematically fulfills the prophecy; therefore the witches represent the idea of fate in the play. However, Shakespeare seems to rather intertwine fate with free will and perhaps even promotes the second philosophy as the play evolves.
As proved by Macbeth’s success to become the Thane of Cawdor, the prophecies are Macbeth’s fate; they will be the outcomes of his life, but how they will come to be is dependent on Macbeth’s own choices. When Macbeth shares the prophesies with his wife, Lady Macbeth, she helps him murder King Duncan in order to gain the throne. The witches had predicted that Macbeth would be king but they hadn’t said when or how. It is Macbeth’s own choice to murder Duncan because of his deep desire to become king. Macbeth wants to protect his power and eliminate all enemies that may come in the way.
Before meeting the witches, Macbeth is an honorable man who won favor from King Duncan for his courage in fighting in battle. The witch’s Influenced him to do all the evil things the most of the play and it goes like this. The witches introduce the prophecies which two of them were full field. The first witch states that he will become “The thane of Glamis” in act 1, scene 3, page3 and the second witch says that he will become the “thane of Cawdor” but the third one is what changed the situation and it goes like the third witch says”All hail, Macbeth, the future king”.