Free Will In Macbeth

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For centuries, there has been lots debate on whether or not there is such thing as fate or free will. To this day, people are trying to decide if one’s life is already laid out for him/her and that if no matter what he/she does that it will still unfold in a preset way, in which that they cannot change, or if one has free will and the ability to completely change his/her life. In William Shakespeare’s Macbeth, the main character, Macbeth, is not doomed by fate, but by free will. In particular, Shakespeare’s Macbeth demonstrates that it is not fate that determines one 's life as it is one 's flaws and choices. This is illustrated through Macbeth himself, who, first, makes the choice of not listening to his conscience, which continuously…show more content…
Second, Macbeth is aware of his tragic flaw, but he does not choose to better himself. Lastly, although being influenced by the witches, Macbeth makes the choice to believe in the witches and to take certain actions. To begin with, Macbeth is greatly influenced by Lady Macbeth. She “is depicted by Shakespeare as an equal of Macbeth in the realm of ambition and ruthlessness; without her, in fact, Macbeth 's courage may never have reached the ‘sticking-place’” (Moss & Wilson 7). She convinces him to commit the murder of King Duncan, as well as convinces him that murder is the only way to achieve their ambition. Rather than listening to his own conscience, which tells him to “...proceed no further in this business” (Shakespeare I.VII.34), Macbeth allows his wife to manipulate and convince him by accusing him of not being a man and expresses that she would “...dashed the brains out...”…show more content…
Moreover, it is shown that Macbeth is not just a character that the witches try to control, but that he has enough choice to create his own path in life. Macbeth lets the witches’ prediction, that he “...shalt be king hereafter” (Shakespeare I.iii.53), influence the decisions he makes. Macbeth blindly listens to the witches’ prophecy without any proof, so he “... is not only a tyrant, but also his unselfconscious superstition causes him to be an incompetent one” (McGrail 32). Macbeth chooses to believe in the witches rather than dismissing their words like Banquo does. Therefore, it is this choice that leads him to his doomed fate. To continue, although Macbeth believes in the prophecies this does not mean he has to listen to them or even act on them. However, “The complete self-confidence inspired in him by the witches causes him to act in contempt of popular opinion” (McGrail 32). In particular, the witches’ predictions have some influence on Macbeth’s thoughts and plans, but they do not suggest him to murder the king. The witches also do not suggest him to order the murderers to kill Banquo, Fleance, and Macduff’s family. He makes this decision without being manipulated or influenced to do so at all. So, Macbeth allows his choice to believe in the witches influence the decisions and actions he makes. Therefore, it is his choice to act accordingly to the witches’ prophecies that lead him to his doomed

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