The Trap of Destiny Throughout the play Macbeth by Shakespeare the characters battle with a constant struggle between what is fate and what is their own free will. Macbeth, a war hero in the eyes of his own countrymen, is told two prophecies that change everything. He believed everything the three witches told him and made decisions accordingly, eventually causing his own demise in the process. Once Macbeth learns about his supposed fate, all of his decisions reflect the prophecies, had he chosen to live his life the way it was and forget the prophecies all together he would have been able to avoid the situation he ended up in. Before Macbeth was told about the possibility of him becoming king, he had no desire to kill king …show more content…
Macbeth sought them out after he felt the first three prophecies had been dealt with looking for more guidance In Macbeth saying “ I conjure you, by that which you profess, howe’er you come to know it, answer me”(Shakespeare,4.1.52-53). Macbeth thought he had made true the prophecies that helped him, and ended those that did not. Fate does not work this way, the witches simply planted ideas into Macbeth’s head. The witches had complete control of Macbeth, they were able to tell him anything and he would either try to make it a reality or stop it from hurting him. Once Macbeth becomes king, he becomes paranoid, due to the third prophecy given by the witches, which says that Banquo will become the father of kings. When both the prophecy that the Macbeth would be king of Cawdor and that he would become king came true Macbeth was worried that Banquo and his son Fleance would try to overthrow him. Due to this paranoia Macbeth hires three murderers to kill Banquo and his son, they are unsuccessful in killing Fleance, but they kill Banquo. Macbeth goes insane after Banquo is murdered and sees his ghost. It had been Banquo’s supposed fate to be father to kings, yet it would have also been Macbeth’s fate to kill Banquo, it can not be both. There are many instances of contradictions like these in the play.
It is important to realize that fate is not something that is predestined, it is
Fate and prediction have played a big part of Macbeth and has persuaded him to become evil and the “Brave” Macbeth had died out as soon as he meets the witches’ and they tell him that his fate is to become the thane of Cawdor and soon become king; “All hail, Macbeth hail to thee, Thane of Cawdor!” “All hail, Macbeth, that shalt be king hereafter!”. Macbeth does not know yet that the Thane of Cawdor had betrayed the king and went against him also he is being stripped of his Thaneship and is being executed, so he was surprised when the witches’ said that. Macbeth at first did not believe in his fate but when he gets the rob to be Thane of Cawdor he starts to believe his fate and then his mind skips to becoming king and killing Duncan this shows
Fate versus free will is a huge theme in the play Macbeth. It is Macbeth's fate that leads his free will to act the way he does. When the witches say "All hail Macbeth the future king" (I.iii.51) it leads Macbeth down a road of death and self-destruction. If Macbeth hadn't known
Fate vs Free Will is one of the most oft used literary techniques in writing. It is never more evident than in Shakespeare’s play Macbeth. The major theme of the story Macbeth is whether or not the story is fueled by the free will of Macbeth, or by his fate. Are the events in Macbeth a result of his mentality and outlook on life, or were they going to happen no matter what? Almost every major event that takes place can be traced back to this question. It can be viewed in different ways, and most people have their own opinions. Dissecting this question is a part of what makes teaching Macbeth still have so much value to this day. But there is a clear answer to this question upon further dissection. The story of Macbeth is fueled by his free
Throughout life, many of us will find ourselves in some of the worst situations that leave us wondering who’s to blame. The truth is that the misfortunes that befall us are due to our own actions and sometimes due to fate or bad luck. Fate is one person's destiny and it can not be understood by simple mortals but a greater power beyond human comprehension. Fate is so powerful that it can control a person's outcome on life before it happens. Many people tend to become victims of fate in which they catch a glimpse of what their future is going to look like, but do not totally take hold of the outcome. Macbeth can not fully realize the possible outcome of his fate because he is human, and therefore is a victim to his power driven
He realizes that if he want to start his own dynasty, then he will have to have control of all the variables. Then Macbeth began to think, “For Banquo’s issues have I filed my mind;/ For them the gracious Duncan I have murdered” (Shakespeare 85). He realizes that he has set himself up to fail. He is cleared a path to the crown for Banquo’s kin. Macbeth goes on to state, “He chid the sisters/ When first they put the name of king upon me” (Shakespeare 85). This give the readers the thought that Banquo is jealous of the king. Macbeth, not wanting to risk his crown, calls for some outside murderers. As I stated earlier, Macbeth knew he must get rid of Banquo and his sons. He succeeds in having Banquo killed, but Banquo’s son, Fleance (the one person Macbeth needed to kill), escapes.
After he had attained his destiny, Macbeth felt that Banquo would become a serious threat. He did not like the fact that Banquo was destined to be a father to a whole line of kings. "Our fears in Banquo stick deep, and in his royalty of nature reigns that which would be feared...If `t be so, for Banquo's issue have I filed my mind; for them the gracious Duncan have I murdered..."(85). The path Macbeth chooses to take in order to stay at the throne was to have Banquo killed. But, Macbeth was never destined to kill anyone. Killing Duncan, Banquo and Macduff's whole household were all his decisions to attain his destiny.
In Shakespeare’s Macbeth, there is a question as to whether or not Macbeth is driven by fate or free will. The three weird sisters approach Macbeth with prophecies that will all come true in the end. It would appear that Macbeth is just following destiny at first. However, Macbeth always had a choice throughout the play to choose his own fate. Macbeth journeyed to his murderous doom through his own free choice.
But, later on in the play we learn by the witched that Banquo's descendants will become King and that they will prosper. It says “Thou shalt get kings, though thou be none”, when Macbeth learns about this and hears about it he is scared and then eventually considers Banquo as a threat to him to become King. So Macbeth has to come up with a solution to this and eventually comes up with the solution that he must murder Banquo and his son Fleance. He gets two murders to go out and murder Banquo and his son while they are walking so that his promise of becoming king will not be in jeopardy. This is an ironic act of betrayal because Macbeth and Banquo have been friends for a long time and have done everything together. Banquo was not just his friend he was also the co-commander of the army and had some power in Scotland.
Fate is one person's destiny, it cannot be understood by mere mortals but a greater power beyond human comprehension. Fate is so powerful that it controls a person's outcome on life before it happens. Many people become victims of fate in which they catch a glimpse of what their future is going to look like, but do not totally grasp the outcome. Macbeth cannot fully comprehend the possible outcome of his fate because he is mortal, and therefore is a victim to his power driven quest and his ultimate fate. Many have been said to agree with this statement. For example, as stated in Shakespeare A to Z, "The Witches are an enactment of the irrational. The supernatural world if terrifying because it is beyond human control, and in the play it is
After the murder of Duncan, Macbeth is titled the King of Scotland. Having Macbeth murder Duncan to become King makes it seem to Macbeth that he can control his own fate. This only makes it worse for Macbeth, because it is now engraved in his mind that murder can change fate. Now that Duncan is taken care of, it is Banquo that Macbeth is worried about, for Macbeth is convinced that Banquo knows too much because he was the only other person with him when the witches prophesized his fate. It’s not only Banquo that Macbeth wants to murder, he also wants to change the prophecy of Banquo’s descendants becoming Kings by murdering them as well, as he states “To make them kings, the seed of Banquo kings!;/ Rather than so, come fate into the list,;/ And champion me to th’ utterance.” (III, I, 70-73). This line directly shows that Macbeth now thinks he is in control, and that he can challenge fate by murdering the sons of Banquo to change what the witch’s prophesized for the descendants of Banquo to become kings.
Here it is said by the captain that Macbeth should have died in battle but that he was stronger (more ambitious) than his fate. Macbeth has no one to blame but himself. The captain does also call Macbeth “damned quarry” and this time he escapes fate but the “rebel’s whore” will get him in the end.
Fate always plays a dangerously important role in the lives of men, and knowing their destinies can make people do things that may be good or bad. Although Macbeth was a good general, fighting with the interest of protecting his country from invaders, his destiny forbade it and he was changed into cold, heartless tyrant. Even when he tried to resist his fate, the very thing he did, was what caused his death in the end. This illustrates the unsurmountable power of fate and the path set out for us. We can’t avoid it, and no matter what we do , we are always drawn back to what was meant to be. Often, this is what causes people to do unnatural (bad) things out of desperation.
Yet after his encounter with the witches, his mind was going back and forth trying to figure out how he should act upon the prophecy of becoming king! It was by then that the idea of fate had been planted into his head, and with such good title to come with it, why wouldn’t he want to believe his ‘fate’? Something that I found very interesting about the witches was that looking closely at line 24-25 when one of the witches says, "Though his bark cannot be lost, yet it shall be tempest-tossed." From what I seemed to understand, these lines seemed to really show the limitations to the witches’ powers, because they were basically saying that they could only make life rough for the clueless captain, but they could not kill him. I think that this is really important to all the people who thought that the witches had ‘written out’ Macbeth’s fate because in the same way as the previous stated scene they can tempt Macbeth with predictions about his future, but they cannot make him choose evil. Meaning that in this scene, one of the conflicts is obviously fate vs. free will! All the witches really did was find a way of stirring up evil, by tempting Macbeth into choosing to opt for evil instead of good. “If chance will have me king, why, chance may crown me, without my stir.” (Act 1. Scene iii. Line 10). Here, Macbeth seems content to leave his future to "chance." If "chance" will have
After he is named king, Macbeth's misery and eventual downfall is caused by his own insecurities and misguided determination to take control of his future. Firstly, the witches' prophecy concerning Banquo's descendants and Macbeth's feeling of inferiority to Banquo lead Macbeth to arrange for the murder of Banquo and his son, Fleance. Having Banquo around him is a constant reminder to Macbeth of the evil deed he himself has committed and the knowledge that Banquo's, not Macbeth's children, will be
Macbeth's true character is revealed in his thougths. Macbeth expresses these thoughts when he is thinking to himself "If chance will haveme King. Why,chance may crown me wihout my stir."(I,iii,143-144). But The thought of murdering the King, or anyone, fills him with horror, and this is why he writes to Lady Macbeth, seeking her support.After the support of Lady Macbeth and with the meeting with the witches eventually does kill his King.