Fate Vs Free Will In Macbeth

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The power of fate versus free will was a debating argument in Shakespearean time, and still is today. Arguments can be made from William Shakespeare’s Macbeth that Macbeth was indeed controlled by the fate foretold by the witches, or that Macbeth maintained free will throughout his tragedy and demise. Although it appears that the characters in Shakespeare’s Macbeth are predestined by their fate, their ability to alter their fate with their own decision making shows the superiority of free will over fate. Free will in Shakespeare’s Macbeth is shown through the characters’ rash decisions in attempt to control their lives, and is at work throughout a majority of this tragedy. After receiving word that he has been given the title of Thane of Cawdor, Macbeth decides to take “fate” into his own hands and make sure that the rest of his prophecy will come faster than originally, without conflict from Banquo, exercising the power of free will over fate. . Pleased with his predestined fate, Macbeth believes that “If chance will have [him] king, why chance may crown [him] without [his] stir” (I.iii.57-59). This theory of Macbeth’s soon changes once Lady Macbeth convinces him that he can’t just do nothing and expect power. As the knowledge reaches Macbeth that he is not next in line as king, the thirst for power arises in his mind and is exposed when he says, “stars, hide your fires. / Let not light see my black and deep desires” (I.iv.50-51). Free will is once again prevailed when Lady Macbeth states that “fate and metaphysical aid doth seem / To have the crowned withal” (I.v.29-30), showing that fate won’t be the deciding factor of Lady and Macbeth’s lives, but only their actions can make Macbeth become king. Before Lady Macbeth and Macbe... ... middle of paper ... ...the illusion he creates from his own decision to follow the words of the witches, and chooses to create a path of evil for himself. In terms of fate and magical aspects in Macbeth, solid evidence is missing that pronounce that the witches play a part in any kind of magic or fate altering aspects. Macbeth made his own decisions and chose his own path of chaos and evil, bestowing his repercussions on to everyone, including himself. Even as the tragedy of Macbeth concludes, Shakespeare never actually gives an answer to the question of if Macbeth is controlled by fate, or if his demise was at his own hands. This is one of the reasons why this play in particular is relevant to us today. William Shakespeare kept these themes open to interpretation, so that our generation and the ones after us can put their new issues into the text, and make Macbeth’s issues our own.

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