As individuals, we have a certain degree of control over our own lives and the decisions we make. While external factors such as social pressure, cultural norms, and personal circumstances can influence us, ultimately, we have agency in choosing how we respond to those factors. This is portrayed through William Shakespeare's tragedy, Macbeth, the titular character Macbeth is the protagonist, a Scottish general who receives a prophecy from three witches that he will become king. Consumed by ambition and spurred on by his wife, Lady Macbeth, Macbeth murders King Duncan and takes the throne for himself. However, his guilt and paranoia lead him to commit more murders in order to maintain his power, and he becomes increasingly tyrannical as his
(1.3.51) When Banquo notices Macbeth’s excitement about the prophecy he is told, Banquo can’t help but be a bit nervous. He realizes that there is a chance Macbeth could be king. By acknowledging this, he recognizes that Macbeth is going to try and do everything in his power to become king now, ultimately letting fate control his actions. Furthermore, after the witches’
The Tragedy of Macbeth is a well known story that revolves around the word “ambition” but this ambition isn’t always self driven by someone, but rather through the influence of someone else who maintains control of the situation. The story is about a man whose desire to be the king and have power leads to the murders of those who might stand in his way. Throughout the story we see many characters who play major parts in how one event follows another, and how some characters seem to completely have control of the events in the story. Although in Macbeth the Three Sisters and Macbeth exhibit some control over the events, Lady Macbeth has the most responsibility.
The tragedy of Macbeth is a well known play by William Shakespeare. Most people have heard of this story, but many may not know who is at fault for the events. In William Shakespeare’s Macbeth, different people play roles in the events that lead up to a great many tragedies, but Macbeth is the character who is most responsible because he killed Duncan, planned the murder of Banquo, and had Macduff’s family killed purely out of spite. Macbeth was told that he would become king while the current king still was alive.
For anyone reading through Macbeth for the first time, whether for a class assignment or just for a good read, it’s clear to see that Shakespeare has fate and destiny play a big role in the story. In Macbeth, fate is a driving factor for some of the character’s actions, and even their tragic downfalls. Shakespeare also plays with the idea of fate vs. free will when it comes to human affairs, since there are supernatural powers at hand. Macbeth often overthinks these promises given to him and will make rash decisions just to confirm his prophecy.
However, when they are telling Banquo his prophecies, he chooses not to act upon it, and the prophecy of his children becoming kings never comes true. In Act 4, Scene 1, the witches show Macbeth a line of eight kings; the last one with a mirror in his hands, followed by the ghost of Banquo. On the other hand, this prophecy never comes true because Banquo never acts upon it. In the play Macbeth, Banquo says, “May they not be my oracles as well,/And set me up in hope? But hush, no more.”
Often times, people go through rises and downfalls in their lives that they themselves are responsible for. In Shakespeare’s play Macbeth, both main characters, Lady Macbeth and Macbeth, himself, are responsible for the downfall of Macbeth. Lady Macbeth is responsible for the tragedy because she convinces and manipulates Macbeth into doing the deed. However, Shakespeare accomplishes in showing that Macbeth is more responsible for his own downfall than Lady Macbeth because he listens to the witches and follows his ambition rather than his conscience. To begin, Lady Macbeth is responsible for the tragedy because she convinces and manipulates Macbeth into doing the deed by insulting him when he changes his mind.
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.
It is clear that it was Macbeth’s fault for his downfall because of he, himself chose the wrong path. He had the choice of avoiding people but, he did not even after feeling guilty of what he did. Macbeth’s downfall in life cannot be blamed on anyone else, but
He first orders for Banquo and his son, Fleance, to be killed because the witches had also predicted that Banquo’s son will become king. Macbeth says in regards to Banquo, “There is none but he whose being I do fear... Given to the common enemy of man, to make them kings, the seed of Banquo kings (Act 3, Scene 1)!” Banquo is
The distinction is apparent between Banquo and Macbeth, because unlike Macbeth, Banquo is cautious of what the witches have to say, though Macbeth simply commands to hear more. Furthermore, Banquo neither fears nor begs for the predictions the witches may have, whereas Macbeth’s concern is evident during this encounter, as well as when the witches bring about the apparitions to him. Macbeth acts in relation to the prophecies; killing to fulfill the prophecy, or eliminating threats to his throne. Banquo neither fears nor begs for the predictions the witches have in store for him, displaying his cautious attitude in regards of the deceiving sisters. Banquo’s lack of belief is evident once more as he says to Macbeth, “Were such things here, as we do speak about? /
In Shakespeare’s Macbeth the witches informs Macbeth of his fate that he will become the king in the future. Macbeth believes the witches words and Lady Macbeth persuade him to become the king and murder all the people that get in the way. Shakespeare shows us that fate is complicated by our actions, Macbeth will do anything to meet his fate that in the end lead him to his death because of his greediness.
As soon as he murdered Duncan, his ego took over and he became insane with power and paranoia. This made Macbeth responsible for what he did to Banquo and Macduff’s family. It is evident that Macbeth was just following his prescribed destiny when he committed the murders. Fate predicted Macbeth’s life through internal and external forces that played a role in his destiny.
“If chance will have me king, why chance may crown me, without my stir” (Shakespeare 144). Macbeth, a loyal subject to his king has an encounter that will change his fate with an ultimate effect on his free will. They claim three predictions, Macbeth will be the Thane of Cawdor and later crowned King but Macbeths lineage will not maintain the throne. After this supernatural confrontation, Macbeth questions this loyalty which will ultimately lead to his new fate carried out (LitCharts 1). Fully capable to act upon his own free will, Macbeth instead is driven by fate to his destruction which gives further insight of his character advancement.
In the play Macbeth, the lead role “Macbeth” was given a prophecy. Part of the prophecy stated that Macbeth would be king. Macbeth made decisions to make the prophecies come true, rather than believing that his actions were predetermined. Shakespeare, the author of Macbeth, probably believed that fate is never predetermined. I believe Macbeth’s actions were the cause of his own decisions, and that he did what he could to make his prophecies come true.