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Fate Vs Free Will In Shakespeare's Macbeth

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Regarding “real world” scenarios, the “fate vs. free will” debate has long been disputed, but humanity has never come to a verdict on whether human actions are determined by fate or free will. Shakespeare’s Macbeth involves aspects like equivocation and supernatural forces to build on this idea and its pertinence to Macbeth’s tragic downfall. Macbeth is presented with three central prophecies from the witches concerning his seemingly royal destiny at the beginning of the play and again near the end. Although the witches initially give Macbeth his prophecies without being prompted, he is still responsible for his subsequent actions. Although he may not be able to alter the final outcome, he can make choices that alter the path to his…show more content…
Macbeth’s ambition is firmly seated upon the verification of his title of Thane of Cawdor, which happens without any deliberate effort on Macbeth’s part. He acknowledges “If chance will have me king, why, chance may crown me
Without my stir,” proving that he knows he is predetermined for the throne no matter what, yet he still murders Duncan in cold blood. This shows that Macbeth doesn’t have to murder, and thus is not a pawn of the witches predictions, but his own ambition. Nobody knows exactly what could’ve become of Macbeth had he stuck to the status quo, but it could have even been positive. Fate works favorably for some, when handled properly. There are other alternatives to achieving fulfillment of his destiny as King, but Macbeth chooses not to act according to ethics, as opposed to his once friend Banquo. The character Banquo serves as a foil to Macbeth. After receiving from the Weird sisters a prophecy of his own, Banquo finds the idea of his offspring as royalty intriguing, wondering “Why, by the verities on thee made good, May they not be my oracles as well, And set me up in hope?,” but does not dwell on this prospect. Banquo takes his prophecy with a grain of salt, as he knows it could very well be a trick, keeping his dignity and respect from his countrymen. Banquo keeps his honor and allegiances, serving as an
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