Fate or Free Will

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In Macbeth, Shakespeare depicts the character of Macbeth as one ruled by free will to illustrate that human lives are inflicted by the actions that they decide upon rather than a predetermined fate. Macbeth’s choices to fulfill the prophecies that the three evil witches gave him depict that, although, characters are influenced by others, ultimately their decision is what they follow through with and what impacts their life the most.
The three evil witches confronted Macbeth and Banquo early on in Act I and they refer to Macbeth as the Thane of Glamis and the Thane of Cawdor. Banquo is also told that, although, he will never be king of Scotland, his children and future generations in his ancestral line will have the honor of one day becoming king of Scotland. Despite Macbeth being the Thane of Glamis, he is left puzzled and confused because he is not quite sure how he could be the Thane of Cawdor, when the current Thane of Cawdor is still alive. Curious and intrigued, Macbeth attempts to get answers out of the three evil witches, but they disappear in a flash. Lady Macbeth learns of the prophecy and what the future holds according to the three evil witches and beings convincing Macbeth to join her in murdering the current Thane of Cawdor, king Duncan, in order to secure the throne for Macbeth. Macbeth’s initial reaction is one of disgust and utter disbelief. How could he murder a man of such greatness, kindness and one that is admired by all? How could he disregard his loyalty as kinsman and commit such a traitorous act? Deciding not to go through with murdering Duncan, Lady Macbeth quickly talks Macbeth into committing the murder by reassuring him that everything he has ever wanted will be in reach with the death of Duncan. The a...

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... and surely it is full of vengeance and showing no mercy. With the increasing amount of murders and assassinations taking place, Lady Macbeth has gone mad and ends up taking her own life. The reader begins to understand and see just how far Macbeth took the prophecies of the three evil witches to the point of no return. His queen is now dead and Macbeth’s “invincibility” seems to slowly diminish. With the death of Lady Macbeth and when Macbeth loses his life in battle with MacDuff, Act V comes to an end. Although the prophecies given by the three evil witches compelled Macbeth to seek the truth and fulfill what he depicted as his future, he ultimately decided to do anything and everything he needed to do to ensure that the predictions of the witches came true. Macbeths single handedly choose the path he would take in life, which led to his ultimate demise and death.

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