Macbeth Fate And Free Will Analysis

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Nelson Mandela states a poem called The Invictus written by William Ernest Henley, “I am a master of my fate and the captain of my soul.” This quote relates to Shakespeare’s Macbeth in many aspects. Fate is something that unavoidably befalls a person. Free will is the independent choice to do something; a voluntary decision. The events that take place in Macbeth are both the choices he makes and the witches prophecies. Fate and free will is what causes Macbeth to fall in the end. In Act 1, Macbeth is content with his future being lead by “chance.” He says “If chance will have me king,why, chance may crown me, without my stir” (I.iii.143-144). Macbeth thinks by letting “chance” take over there is no reason to go against King Duncan. He becomes the “Thane of Cawdor” which is one of the prophecies of the witches. Macbeth is convinced that what the witches are telling him is true. The witches tell Macbeth his prophecies about his fate which is what gives him motivation. Macbeth presents his first act of free will and taking over his fate when he says “I have done the dead. Didst thou not hear a noise?”(II.ii.14). Although he has second thoughts about killing Duncan, Macbeth chooses to go through with it. Lady Macbeth’s influence is a huge part of his choice, but he still is not under anyone’s control. It is his free will that helps him decide to speed up his fate of becoming king. When he murders Duncan, I feel that this is when Macbeth unleashes the monster in him.

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