The Role Of Fate And Free Will In Macbeth

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Fate Versus Free Will In Macbeth
Fate versus free will is a theme well known throughout literature and in life as well. Is life controlled by fate, or are people’s lives dependent on the choices they make? In Macbeth, Shakespeare emphasizes the idea of fate vs. freewill, indicating that both elements play a role in the lives of individuals, as well as society as a whole. The main character, Macbeth’s, life is a combination of fate and his conscious decisions. The witches in Macbeth can control the fates of many, but only to a point. After that, the characters make their own choices which ultimately lead to their fates.
Macbeth as the main character, the theme of fate versus freewill is aimed at him most frequently. In Act 1, Scene 3, the Third
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Though they have great power, it is not unlimited because the witches cannot control freewill. In Act 1, Scene 3, the witches prophecy that Banquo will be “Lesser than Macbeth and greater. Not so happy yet much happier.” and also that “Thou shalt get kings, though thou be none” (66-70). Though extremely vague, all of these prophecies came true. Macbeth became king and therefore greater than Banquo but he lost his morality which made him lesser. Banquo dies but he is still happier dead than Macbeth is alive, and Banquo’s children will become kings even though he does not get to be one. All of these things happen because Macbeth hires men to kill Banquo, but also because it was Banquo’s fate regardless.
On many occasions, people can be given half truths, like Macbeth was by the apparitions in Act 4, Scene 1, but it is the individual’s job to take from it what they will as Macbeth did, and make their own destiny. Another character that fate vs. freewill affected in Macbeth, was Malcolm, the rightful heir to the Scottish throne. It was Malcolm’s fate to take over when his father Duncan died, but it was his free will that led him to flee Scotland when Duncan was murdered in Act 2, Scene
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