“Macbeth” is an age-old tragedy by, William Shakespeare, that tells the story of the disastrous down fall of Scotland and it’s Kings. The protagonist, Macbeth, starts out as a thriving Thane in Scotland, but ends up destroying his own prosperity as well as Scotland’s. Certain witches who tell people their fate convince Macbeth that he will be King and that his dear friend Banquo’s children will be kings. In an effort to be sure his prophecy is true and with some encouragement from his rash wife, he kills King Duncan, the current king of Scotland. To continue on this path of destruction Macbeth, acts on impulse and has his friend Banquo killed, because he is afraid that he killed Duncan for someone else’s fortune. Throughout the play Macbeth’s degeneration continues until the tragic ending when the country turns against him and seizes his castle. Macbeth’s demise can be attributed to his abandoning his belief in fate for a need to prove his masculinity.
Macbeth’s doubt in fate is not realized until later in the play. When he first meets the “weird sisters” they make prophecies that he finds impossible to be true. “But how of Cawdor? The thane of Cawdor lives, A prosperous gentleman, and to be king Stands not within the prospect of belief, No more than to be Cawdor.”(1.3.73-75). Macbeth doesn’t believe this because he knows that the Thane of Cawdor is still alive and that King Duncan’s sons are the heirs to the throne. His need to be masculine has not yet effected his belief in fate. Once Macbeth becomes Thane of Cawdor he is completely convinced that the predictions of the fate sisters are true “I chance will have be King, why chance may crown me. Without My Stir…Come what may, time and the hour runs through the roughest day”(1.3.145-150). This is the most trust in faith he will ever have.
Shortly after Macbeth puts all his trust in fate, Lady Macbeth challenges his masculinity. “ What beast wasn’t, then, that made you break this enterprise to me? When you durst do it, then you were a man,” (1.7.49-51). This is Lady Macbeth’s response when Macbeth tries to back out of killing King Duncan. Almost immediately Macbeth’s personality changes, he decides to go ahead with the crime as if that will make him a man.