Fate And Free Will Macbeth Research Paper

2139 Words9 Pages

Maya Lipon
Miss Basnett
ELA 20-1
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

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