Is Macbeth a Victim of Fate or His Own Ambitious Choices? Essay

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"Is Macbeth a victim of fate or his own ambitious choices?" Fate, unlike fatalism, does not stipulate that human deliberation and actions are inconsequential in causing an event, as its occurrence is inevitable. Rather it simply states that all events, and the choices leading up to them, are predetermined; hence the role of freewill is no less significant in deciding fated events than it is when considering situations from a non-fated perspective. This concept can be observed in William Shakespeare's Macbeth, in which the title character's fate, as it is prophesised in the play, is clearly the result of and dependent on his own decisions as much as it is circumstances beyond his control. Several times during the play, such as in…show more content…
During several soliloquies and asides Macbeth expresses his "black and deep desires" (1.5.51) to become King and gradually overcomes his moral reluctance and foreboding long enough to kill Duncan. The independence of Macbeth in this decision is best described when he states:
‘…I have no spur to prick the sides of my intent, but only vaulting ambition…' (1.7.25-27)
- which attributes his actions to ambition, both his and Lady Macbeth's, alone. While it is also possible to interpret fate as guiding Macbeth's decision supernaturally, as when he envisions a dagger that ‘…Marshal'st me the way that I was going' (2.1.42-44), this is just as easily interpreted as being Macbeth's often imaginative decision making process. Furthermore the guilt that Macbeth feels after the murder indicates that even he finds himself, and not an irresistible force of fate, responsible for Duncan's murder, which precedes and is largely responsible for his own death.

Macbeth is not condemned to his fate exclusively by his decision to murder Duncan but continues to make choices that result in his undoing after this point. These later decisions can, in fact, be seen as being more definitively Macbeth's own will, as they are made independent of Lady Macbeth's influence and, unlike Macbeth's first murder, in an attempt to avoid rather than achieve a prophecies completion. Macbeth organises Banquo's murder to fight

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