Theme Of Fate And Freewill In Macbeth

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The ideas of fate and freewill have been debated on for years. Citizens of the twenty-first century often believe that life is a combination of fate and personal choices. The truth is, the question has gone through all of our minds whether we know of it or not. Are our lives predetermined or do we pave our own paths? To this day, when something goes wrong in my life, my parents often tell me “it was meant to be.” Was it really meant to be or did it happen because of the choices I made? Shakespeare’s play Macbeth displays how fate and freewill are interconnected. Although fate may dictate what will be, how it comes to be is completely dependent upon our personal choices. Macbeth was given prophecies by the three witches but the choices he made,…show more content…
Hail to thee, thane of Cawdor!...that shalt be king hereafter (Act 1, Scene 3).” The play Macbeth starts off with the three witches telling Macbeth and Banquo that Macbeth will become the Thane of Cawdor and then he will become king. Soon after, Macbeth learns that King Duncan has named him as the Thane of Cawdor. With this, Macbeth begins to believe that the witches’ prophecies must be true and is determined to become king. He says, “Let not light see my black and deep desires (Act 1, Scene 4),” implying that he has the inner desire to now become king. As proved by Macbeth’s success to become the Thane of Cawdor, the prophecies are Macbeth’s fate; they will be the outcomes of his life, but how they will come to be is dependent on Macbeth’s own choices. When Macbeth shares the prophesies with his wife, Lady Macbeth, she helps him murder King Duncan in order to gain the throne. The witches had predicted that Macbeth would be king but they hadn’t said when or how. It is Macbeth’s own choice to murder Duncan because of his deep desire to become king. Macbeth wants to protect his power and eliminate all enemies that may come in the way. 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…show more content…
Two main examples of people who made choices that eventually led them to their downfall despite the good fate they may have had are former U.S. president Richard Nixon and athlete Tonya Harding. Although both could’ve been successful where they stood, their ambition for power and desire to eliminate all enemies that may come in their way led to their own demise. Macbeth clearly starts off in a high place in the military and in society as is proved by Duncan’s words in Act 2, Scene 2 when he says “O valiant cousin, worthy gentleman!” as well as “our captains Macbeth and Banquo.” Likewise, Richard Nixon, the thirty-seventh president of the United States was born into a fairly wealthy family. He was elected president and was living a good life. Nixon’s desire to maintain the power and gain the liking of citizens led him to making a decision without court approval when he was criticized for moving too slowly in disengaging from a war. He ordered for the phones of several government officials and reporters to be tapped. Voters began to distrust Nixon and, as a result, he became the only president to resign from office. Richard Nixon was very much like Macbeth in that his excess ambition and desire for power led to bad choices being made. Regardless of his choices, he did become president, which can be thought of as his fate, but because of the bad choice he

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