Fate Vs Free Will Macbeth

Good Essays
The essence of fate and free will has been debated over since the earliest beginnings. There are people who have a total belief in fate and believe free will is a figment of imagination, yet there are those who believe that humans have complete control over their decisions. In the wise words of Friedrich Nietzsche, “Free will without fate is no more conceivable than spirit without matter, good without evil.” Nietzsche’s claim that life requires balance between fate and free will is displayed especially in Macbeth; a well renowned tragedy written by none other than Shakespeare himself. During the 1600's when the play was acted out, it eventually came to be known as the “cursed play” through a series of disasters. The protagonist was tormented…show more content…
At the beginning of the play, Macbeth’s ambition is pure and at a relatively low level. He does not have his eyes set on the kingship and he relies on his own free will rather than thinking about fate. He is recognized for his courageous acts and clever tactics in battle: “For brave Macbeth--well he deserves that name Disdaining fortune, with his brandished steel” (I.ii.16-17). Macbeth is honorably displaying ambition towards becoming a better and more renowned sergeant. He has no thoughts about fate playing a part in his success; as far as Macbeth knows, it is all his free will. Furthermore, while his ambition is not directed towards gaining the crown, Macbeth does not show any reliance on fate and he controls his own decisions. However, shortly after the…show more content…
Here, Macbeth is seen giving into Lady Macbeth’s persistency in murdering King Duncan. By declaring that he will “do all that may become a man,” Macbeth is also deciding to entrust himself and go down the path of free will. Given that Macbeth is showing hesitancy towards going through with the plan, readers can consequently see that his ambition has risen, yet not to extreme heights. As the play progresses, Macbeth reverts back to accepting the fate of the Three Witches. He visits them once more and demands that they predict his future, and the Weird Sisters prophesize: “laugh to scorn the power of a man, for none of woman born shall harm Macbeth” (IV.i.79-81), to which he responds with, “I’ll make assurance double sure and take a bond of fate” (IV.i.83-84). Macbeth keeps the prophecy in mind which gives him no reason to fear, yet takes fate into his own hands by planning to kill Macduff. Shakespeare is showing the readers how Macbeth’s violence has developed; he used to have a guilty conscious over thinking such violent things, yet now, he can effortlessly state that he is going to kill another person. Readers can clearly see that
Get Access