Macbeth: The Role of Fate
Fate plays an important role in Shakespeare's Macbeth. The weird sisters use fate to wreak havoc among the Scottish nobility. Also, Macbeth and Lady Macbeth tempt fate. Later in the play, Malcolm, Macduff and the other revolutionaries try to alter fate. Fate can be many things to many different people. If one believes that fate is all-encompassing, then it becomes a perfect excuse for one's deeds. Yet, to Macbeth fate was something far more complex. Macbeth, upon seeing some truth in the witches’ prophecies, chose to believe all that they spoke and yet occasionally felt that he needed to give fate a hand
The weird sisters, consider that fate is not something to be overly concerned with, but rather it is something to be enjoyed. However, their superior, Hecate, obviously thinks that it was important enough to discipline the weird sisters verbally for abusing it. The weird sisters view fate as routinely as Macbeth views water and bread. In Macbeth, it seems, the witches can travel in and out of time at will. Thus, they are able to both see the future and to change its very course. When examined analytically, this ability appears to be an illogical paradox, but Shakespeare's great work is brimming with paradoxes, "Fair is foul, and foul is fair"(I.i.11).
The witches seem to already know the consummation of both Macbeth’s and Banquo's respective fates. However, they, for some reason unbeknownst to the audience, deem it necessary to interfere with this fate telling Macbeth and Banquo about their futures. Actions of this nature make it seem as if the...
... middle of paper ...
...n was again his downfall when he became terrified of MacDuff and lost the battle that resulted in his decapitation.
While fate can be viewed as something that cannot be altered, the only way a strong person would ever use fate is to his or her advantage. To use fate as a source of stability and grounds for faith in one's own self and one's own abilities is a positive use of fate. However, becoming over-confident in or basing one's few momentous decisions on fate is not a wise undertaking as Macbeth learned. Fate is like religion and any other belief based on intangible ideas: it can be a good excuse to not take control of one's own life and responsibility for one's own decisions. When fate supersedes free will in the order of importance, then chaos is bound to follow.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- The Place of Fate in Macbeth Shakespeare was wont to employ the supernatural force of fate throughout his tragic play Macbeth. Let us examine in this essay what we mean by the above statement. In Everybody's Shakespeare: Reflections Chiefly on the Tragedies, Maynard Mack explains that the witches are associated with fate: Except in one phrase (I.3.6) and in the stage directions, the play always refers to the witches as weyard - or weyward - sisters. Both spellings are variations of weird, which in Shakespeare's time did not mean "freakish," but "fateful" - having to do with the determination of destinies.... [tags: Macbeth essays Shakespeare]
3026 words (8.6 pages)
- Throughout life, many of us will find ourselves in some of the worst situations that leave us wondering who’s to blame. The truth is that the misfortunes that befall us are due to our own actions and sometimes due to fate or bad luck. Fate is one person's destiny and it can not be understood by simple mortals but a greater power beyond human comprehension. Fate is so powerful that it can control a person's outcome on life before it happens. Many people tend to become victims of fate in which they catch a glimpse of what their future is going to look like, but do not totally take hold of the outcome.... [tags: fate, karma, macbeth, shakespeare]
609 words (1.7 pages)
- How Fate Disappointed in Macbeth How forceful was fate in the venerable Shakespearean tragedy Macbeth. Did it deprive either of the Macbeths of their ability to choose. This essay intends to answer these and other fate-related questions. In his critical volume, Macbeth: a Guide to the Play, H. R. Coursen explains the concept of Fate within the play: Macbeth's tragedy is not that he decides to kill Duncan but that he cannot become independent. Even if a weaker agency than God, he would be his own, himself alone.... [tags: Macbeth Destiny Fate Free Will Choice]
3029 words (8.7 pages)
- How much of an influence does fate have on the ideals of a person. Is Macbeth acting out the selfish desires of his own accord. Fate is thought to be unavoidable, and all the paths of life lead to a destiny that is inescapable. In Shakespeare’s Macbeth, not only is Macbeth’s hand forced in committing a murder, his fate is expedited in the process. Macbeth is in control of his own destiny, but is spurned into decisions by the Witches and his wife. Although Macbeth believes he is controlled by fate, a more thorough inspection reveals his control over all his actions.... [tags: Macbeth, Duncan I of Scotland, King Duncan]
1007 words (2.9 pages)
- Fate has sundry meanings. One of the meanings of fate: power that predetermines events. Destiny’s definition suggests that events will occur and do not change. Whatever unravels in life cannot change by mankind. The statement has undivulged meanings; fate has the opportunity to change if the person wants events to end differently. However, wrong decisions will only seal fate. In Shakespeare’s Macbeth, The fate becomes confirmed through Lady Macbeth wanting more power, Macbeth’s inner conflict, and the three witches tricking Macbeth and leading him to his demise.... [tags: Theme of Fate and Free Will]
1238 words (3.5 pages)
- The Power of Religion and Fate in Macbeth Macbeth presents a religious view of man's existence and destiny. Shakespeare, however, did not write a religious or theological tract. He explored the meaning of human life in those terms which art uses in order to project our deepest thoughts and feelings; in broad, popular religious symbols and myths, whose meaning is as profound as it is easily recognized. The unparalleled religious crisis, through which Europe was passing at the time of Shakespeare writing Macbeth, the first decade of the seventeenth century, shook the traditional religious heritage to its foundations.... [tags: Macbeth essays]
1567 words (4.5 pages)
- Fate in William Shakespeare's Macbeth The story of Macbeth is one that contains a two sided illustration in it. On one hand, it is Macbeth who determines his own fate and on the other hand ironically, fate determines his doom. Tragedy to the ancient Greeks included fate or the gods presenting man with an unavoidable destiny. In The Tragedy of Macbeth, Shakespeare's witches give voice to Macbeth's destiny. The blending of right and wrong, good and evil, and a general equivocal position begins with the ominous appearance of the witches in Act I, Scene 1 of the play.... [tags: Papers]
524 words (1.5 pages)
- In William Shakespeare's Macbeth the place of fate may not be clear and distinct in the mind of the reader. This essay hopes to clarify the notion of fate in the play. L.C. Knights in the essay "Macbeth" explains the place of fate in the decline of Macbeth: "One feels," says W.C. Curry, "that in proportion as the good in him diminishes, his liberty of free choice is determined more and more by evil inclination and that he cannot choose the better course. Hence we speak of destiny or fate, as if it were some external force or moral order, compelling him against his will to certain destruction." Most readers have felt that after the initial crime there is something compulsive in Macbeth'... [tags: William Shakespeare's Macbeth]
3030 words (8.7 pages)
- The Concept of Fate in Macbeth Literary critics disagree over the amount of leverage which fate exerted on the Macbeths in the Shakespearean drama Macbeth. Fate was quite influential, but it did not impair their free will; they remained free moral agents who ambitiously and voluntarily surrendered themselves to the evil suggestions of fate. Macbeth: "If Chance would have me king, why, Chance may crown me without my stir." A.C. Bradley in Shakespearean Tragedy references Fate in the play to the Witches' prophecies: The words of the witches are fatal to the hero only because there is in him something which leaps into light at the sound of them; but they are at the same time... [tags: Macbeth essays]
3046 words (8.7 pages)
- Fate's Triumph in Macbeth Shakespeare a fatalist in Macbeth. It would seem so, given the observation that the Macbeths capitulated totally to the evil suggestions of the witches. We shall clarify the concept of fate in this drama. Blanche Coles states in Shakespeare's Four Giants the place of Fate in Macbeth's life: Then, like a cog slipping naturally into its own notch, his thoughts turn to the Witches and their prophecy, and he concludes that he has defiled his mind for the descendants of Banquo he has murdered the gracious Duncan for them; he has poisoned his own peace of mind and given his immortal soul (eternal jewel) to the devil, the common enemy of man - all this to... [tags: Macbeth essays]
3030 words (8.7 pages)
- The Spiritual Decline of Shakespeare's Macbeth
- Reward and Punishment in Shakespeare's Macbeth
- The Tragedy of Ambition in Shakespeare's Macbeth
- Shakespeare's Macbeth - A Tragedy Without the Tragic Flaw?
- Importance of Sleep in Shakespeare's Macbeth
- Characterization, Theme, and Imagery of Ray Bradbury's The Pedestrian