Fate vs. Freedom Essay

1046 Words5 Pages
Fate may state what will be in one's life however, how that destiny comes about is a matter of man's own choice. In other words, incidents don't occur because our destinies are written. In the play Macbeth, Shakespeare expertly uses the theme of fate vs. free will and raises the pre-eminent question of which holds power over the characters. In Shakespeare’s tragedy, fate is not the cause of his downfall, his own desires and choices prove to be the deciding factor. There are several examples of fate playing a distinctive role in the lives of Macbeth’s players. The main catalysts behind fate are the three witches seen intermittingly throughout the production. During their second appearance, they share this harrowing truth with the…show more content…
80-81). All three of these declarations prove to be true in the end. The final fate of Macbeth is depicted in these three lines. The apparitions correctly reveal Macduff, a son born of cesarean section, will strike down Macbeth in cold blood, after the trees of the forest will be cut down by the English army and used as camouflage. Fate plays the role of suggestion, but with every prophecy and “pre-determined” event, there is a subsequent set of actions and choices by the persons involved to ultimately arrive at the destination. The forecast of kingship spurred Macbeth to action, which caused him to fulfill, through his own free will, though influenced by the witches’ suggestions of a possible kingship, his own predictions. The witches themselves possess no real power to ensure that their predictions come to pass. Macbeth also replies later: "If chance will have me king, why, chance may crown me, / Without my stir" (I.iii. 144). This seems to indicate that he doesn't regard the witches as the voice of fate, but of chance. He believes he has choice in the matter. The witches tempted him, but it was his own ambition that led him to commit the crime. Macbeth eventually decides that "chance" needs some help, and so he murders Duncan. Another example of freewill is Macbeth arranging the death of Banquo and his sons. "I will give you a job whose execution will take your enemy off. Both of you know Banquo is your enemy? ...
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