Fate Vs Freewill In Macbeth

1240 Words5 Pages
Does an individual’s actions truly affect their outcome? The question of whether one’s life is predetermined or their decisions affect their ultimatum; fate vs freewill, is one of the most frequently asked philosophical question without a definite answer. The two plays of Macbeth by William Shakespeare and The Crucible by Arthur Miller are excellent at illustrating the theme of fate vs freewill. The two plays provides interesting perspectives on this theme and give intuition on the controversy of fate vs freewill through actions of tragic characters such as Macbeth and John Proctor. Each character progressively and seamlessly becomes victims of their own freewill, although fate is still present, it is ultimately freewill that attributes to…show more content…
At the beginning of Shakespeare’s play, Macbeth does not exhibit any ambition to usurp the crown until fate is fully tempted in his face through the three witches’ prophecy. Macbeth is fortuned to become king, but his “means-to-the-end” are a product of freewill. Macbeth says, “If chance will have me king, why, chance may crown me, without my stir” (I.iii.157-159). Macbeth considers the fact that he has a choice and that fate will naturally make him king without his influence, but when Malcom is named heir to the throne he is persuaded into action. The witches predict and suggest, but they do not control Macbeth; it is Macbeth himself who chooses, through his own freewill to kill the current king (Duncan) in order to ascertain the fulfillment of this prophecy. This temptation for the crown fuels Macbeth’s ambition and thrusts him into unnecessary action, which ultimately leads to his downfall. Similarly, in The Crucible temptation is also present. It is a major belief of the Puritans that once a sin is committed it cannot be washed away. John Proctor is a character that is portrayed as an honest and good man, but he falls into temptation and sins. Abigail says to Proctor, “I know how you clutched my back behind your house and sweated like a stallion whenever I come near! Or did I dream that? … you loved me then and you do now!” (Miller 22). Although he knows that his sin will never be washed away, he still decides through his own freewill to have an affair with Abigail. Proctor’s lust overwhelms his religious desire to be pure. His affair with Abigail sets into motion the witchcraft hysteria and ultimately leads to John Proctor’s tragic fate. Macbeth and John Proctor both fall into temptation through their own freewill and similarly through freewill they begin

More about Fate Vs Freewill In Macbeth

Open Document