Preview
Preview

Does Macbeth Have Free-Will? Essay

No Works Cited
Length: 2048 words (5.9 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Blue      
Open Document




- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Throughout the story of Macbeth, by William Shakespeare, Macbeth acts in a much despised manner: he becomes a murderer and later, when king of Scotland, a tyrant. Many who have read or seen the play are left wondering how a man’s whole approach to life can change; how Macbeth turned from the hero whom all adored, to the tyrant who was hated and ended up a lone man, fighting for his life.

Within the play, Macbeth is influenced by many: the witches; his wife, Lady Macbeth; possibly Hecate, Goddess of the Underworld; and his own desire to be crowned king. The question is: was he just influenced by them, and acted upon his own choice and free-will; or did they control him, forcing him to act against his wishes against his free will?

Firstly, there are the witches, who are first to give Macbeth the idea of kingship. When they are first met, they are gathered in a ‘desolate place’ during a ferocious storm. This alone creates tension, even before the witches speak, as many fear thunder and lightening; when the play was written, thunder was considered to be God showing his anger.

When speaking the witches say, in line 12,’Fair is foul, and foul if fair’, later in scene 3 Macbeth describes the day: ‘So foul and fair a day’. This repetition may illustrate a link between Macbeth and the witches: these are words not commonly used together as they are an oxymoron. However, in this case, there use could be considered just: a surprising coincidence. The witches may be saying that it is disgraceful to be fair to people, but perfectly reasonable to be foul to people, showing their lust for trouble making. Macbeth may have meant that the weather is foul, as we already know there is a storm, but it is a good and fair day, Scotland is free a...


... middle of paper ...


...to killing Duncan, it is he who first mentions murder. The witches can only predict, if act iii, scene 5 is not included, they offer Macbeth a path, but it id up to him whether or not to take it. As Kenneth Muir wrote, ‘Macbeth has not the predisposition to murder; he has merely an inordinate ambition that makes murder itself seem to be a lesser evil than failure to achieve the crown.’

Overall, Macbeth may not have had the idea to be king had the witches not prophesised it, but, as is the nature of a prophecy, it should happen of its own accord. Macbeth attempted to speed up his destiny as given by the witches. He chose to take control by force rather than letting it happen naturally. The witches just said he would be king, not that he had to do anything to achieve the crown: his ambition made him kill. Macbeth chose to kill; to have choice is to have free-will.


Click the button above to view the complete essay, speech, term paper, or research paper

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »







This essay is 100% guaranteed.


Title Length Color Rating  
Free Essays - Isolation in Macbeth - Isolation in Macbeth Isolation is a state of being separation between persons or group, or a feeling being alone. There are different factors that contribute to someone feeling alone and isolated. An example of this would be when celebrities go into deep depression because they feel isolated from the whole world. They have all the material things they could ever want, but the one thing they want the most, they do not have. , which is happiness, which comes from satisfaction within oneself and being satisfied with what one has done in one's life....   [tags: Free Macbeth Essays] 703 words
(2 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Free Essays - Character Changes in Macbeth - Character Changes in Macbeth Macbeth is the main character in William Shakespeare's play Macbeth. Macbeth goes through drastic changes throughout the play. He changes from good to evil. Many different things cause these changes. In the beginning Macbeth was such a nice guy. That all changed when he met the three witches. When Macbeth first meets the witches they say two things that begin Macbeth's trail of evil. "All hail, Macbeth. Hail to thee, Thane of Cowdor!" I iii 49, is the first thing that leads to the trail....   [tags: Free Macbeth Essays] 565 words
(1.6 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Free Essays - The Manipulative Lady Macbeth - The Manipulative Lady Macbeth In certain situations, women are the downfall of men. Macbeth is a prime example on how women influence men. We are going to probe into the hidden lives of Lord and Lady Macbeth, and show how without Lady Macbeth, Macbeth would have lived and prospered. Lady Macbeth was a small but very important part of the play Macbeth. She is always on the side of Macbeth telling him what she thinks he should do. When Macbeth was off at war, and told lady Macbeth that the witches greeted him as Thane of Cawdor, and King of Scotland before he received those titles, she was probably scheming no how to fulfill those before he returned home....   [tags: Free Macbeth Essays] 399 words
(1.1 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
The Free Will of Macbeth Essay - The Free Will of Macbeth      Destiny "Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice; it is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved." (William Jennings Bryan) Are we in control of our own destiny, our own fate, or are our lives really already planned and mapped out for us. Does Macbeth willfully choose evil in order to achieve his "destiny". Or, is his "destiny" doomed by the witches' prophecies. Macbeth may not have made any of his same choices, if the three Weird sisters hadn't come to him....   [tags: Macbeth essays]
:: 1 Works Cited
751 words
(2.1 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Free Essays - Free Will Isn't Free in Macbeth - Macbeth - Free Will Isn't Free Could Macbeth choose his own path in life or is it already planned. Everything he does in his life is already planned out. It is destined for what happens happened in his life. He still has his free will, but no matter what everything is bound to happen as it were destined to. His destiny is still a step ahead of him. No matter what his decision is, even the three witches can foretell his future. Every decision that Macbeth choose was on his free will and his fate is already destined for him ahead of times....   [tags: Macbeth essays] 840 words
(2.4 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Free Macbeth Essays: Blameless Macbeth - Blameless Macbeth Macbeth, a tragic play by William Shakespeare, involves the downfall of a military hero, Macbeth. Our hero, however, is not to blame for his own fate – the downfall of Macbeth is the result of the actions by those around him. Three evil withes foretell that Macbeth will become Thane of DCawdor and even King of Scotland. Macbeth dismissed their prophecies, but after he is promoted to Thane of Cawdor for military action, Macbeth wonders if he shall not be King, too. Macbeth is a good and loyal kinsman who would never harm his King....   [tags: Macbeth essays] 810 words
(2.3 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Free Macbeth Essays: The Inner-Macbeth - The Inner-Macbeth Assumptions are made throughout our lives, just as the nobles suspect Macbeth of murder. Macbeth has given them a reasonable amount of examples to justify their predictions of his bloody doings, yet his inner monologue is available only to the reader. Such thoughts of his guilt and remorse are expressed through his discussions with Lady Macbeth, his unconscious reactions to Banquo’s ghost and the "tomorrow and tomorrow" speech. Scotland makes accusations through Banquo’s soliloquy and the nobles speaking of Macbeth in act five proving their beliefs of murder....   [tags: GCSE Coursework Macbeth Essays] 530 words
(1.5 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Free Macbeth Essays - Are things as they seem? - Are things as they seem. All things have an appearance, usually a good or a bad one. Depending on the appearance something has we form an opinion about it. Sometimes the appearance something has can mislead one in forming an accurate opinion about it. In Macbeth, Shakespeare shows us that things are not always as they appear to be. This is shown through the duplicity of Macbeth and his wife, the kings sons and the servants being blamed for Duncan's death and King Duncan's inaccurate opinions. In the beginning of the play Macbeth is a well respected hero who appears to be a great guy....   [tags: Macbeth essays] 693 words
(2 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Free Macbeth Essays: The Value of Sleep - The Value of Sleep in Macbeth I'm sure you know what it is like to not have a good night sleep for a day or two, or maybe even a whole week, but imagine not being able to sleep through the night for an entire year. Macbeth grows to know this feeling all too well in Shakespeare's Macbeth. Every time that Macbeth is involved in murdering his so-called friends, his waking hours grow longer and longer. He almost goes crazy the night that he kills King Duncan, and he can never get over this because he immediately has to kill again in order to protect himself Each of these killings causes Macbeth to sleep less and eventually leads to his insanity....   [tags: Macbeth essays] 619 words
(1.8 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Free Macbeth Essays: Sleep and Sleeplessness - The Sleep and Sleeplessness Motif in Macbeth We have consciences that function to tell us the difference between right and wrong. If we have clear consciences, we usually possess the ability to sleep. But when our consciences are full of guilt, we experience a state of sleeplessness. In Macbeth, Shakespeare uses the sleep and sleeplessness motif to represent Macbeth's and Lady Macbeth's consciences and the effect Macbeth's conscience has on the country of Scotland. Lady Macbeth begins with an unrecognizable conscience....   [tags: Macbeth essays] 522 words
(1.5 pages)
Good Essays [preview]