Free Will And Free Will In The Tragedy Of Macbeth

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In the play The Tragedy of Macbeth by William Shakespeare, the character Macbeth acts on free will as opposed to fate. The definition of free will is having the ability to make a choice; including the possession of options, logical reasoning for choosing each option, as well as understanding the consequences of each decision. Macbeth obeys all the criteria, using “fate” as an excuse to act like a murder-crazy lunatic, ultimately resulting in his demise. Macbeth’s possession of options allows him to fall under the category of free will. One way Macbeth possesses options is by choosing to listen to someone or not. The Witches, as well as Lady Macbeth, both influence Macbeth, turning his thoughts evil. However, Macbeth is a strong, tough man…show more content…
By questioning Macbeth’s manhood, she draws Macbeth’s attention so he is more inclined to listen to her. But, ultimately, the decision for Macbeth to listen to his wife was up to him. Another instance where Macbeth has an existence of options available is when choosing to kill someone or not. With each person Macbeth killed (Duncan, Banquo, Macduff’s family), the option of not killing them is always there. One might argue that he did not have a choice in killing Duncan and only did so because of Lady Macbeth, however he was not required to listen to his wife (again, he chose to listen), as he has the final say in whether to kill someone or not. Therefore in many situations, Macbeth was presented with a variety of options, fitting the criteria of free will. Macbeth, being a logical man, has conscious knowledge and thinks about the pros and cons before making a decision on anything. When making the decision to kill Duncan, Macbeth weighed his options heavily. He states that he does not want to kill Duncan because “we but teach/ Bloody instructions, which, being taught, return/ To plague th’ inventor” (1.7.7-10).
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