The Role Of Fate In Shakespeare's Macbeth

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Children are taught, “ If you are good you will go to heaven, if you are bad you will go to hell.” Heaven is where we all want to be, but how do we get there? Franklin D. Roosevelt once said, “Men are not prisoners of fate, but only prisoners of their own minds.” Starting with Adam and Eve, the fate of our lives is known to change through choices and decisions made because of free will. When it comes to fate there are two types of people, those who believe in fate and those who don’t. Macbeth and Lady Macbeth in William Shakespeare’s Macbeth change their fate with their actions. In Emily Dickinson’s “Because I could not Stop for Death”, the narrator regrets her actions and wishes she could have changed her fate. On the other hand, Edith Wharton’s Ethan Frome, fate is said to be predetermined. By exercising free will, in trying to avoid their inevitable downfall, these three unconnected works of literature encompass the two types of fate, that which can change and that which is predetermined. In Shakespeare’s Macbeth, the fate of several people are changed through the actions of individuals that exercise their free-will. In the beginning of this play Macbeh states, “If chance will have me king, why, chance may crown me, without my stir” (Shakespeare). This bold statement is one in which he should have listened to. In the beginning of this Shakespearean play, Macbeth believes that he should allow chance to take it’s own course, but this philosophy is quickly forgotten.

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