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Macbeth Fate or Free Will

Fate is a unnatural force that is unavoidable and occurs to every person, where as freewill is the choices and actions you have reached yourself.

The play Macbeth written by William Shakespeare, the events in his life do not occur from supernatural powers such as fate, but from the decisions he came up with himself. The poor decisions that essentially lead up to Macbeth’s death are the murder of King Duncan, his ignorance to the predictions that the weird sisters give him and he takes it a step further by nurdering innocent people. These choices were wrong and by making these poor decisions he slowly kills himself.

The ambition of becoming king, when the weird sisters tell him his fortune is stronger than his conscience and ability from knowing right from wrong. The first thought in his mind when the weird sisters tell him his great fortune of becoming king, is to kill king Duncan to take his place. “Whose horrid image doth unfix my hair and make my seated heart knock at my ribs, against the use of nature?”(I, iii, 145-148) The sisters never tell him he has to brutally murder the king in order to become king, but it is Macbeth’s first thought in his mind. He debates with himself over the idea of killing the king, and then chooses to listen to his wife, who wants him to be king as much as he does. “ Wouldst thou have that which thou esteem’st the ornament of life and live a coward in thin own esteem…(I, vii, 44-46) He chooses to listen to her put him down and call him a coward, when he has just come back from a war where he has killed hundreds of people. Macbeth has killed many people, but he is the one who does not defend him and let’s him become persuaded by Lady Macbeth. His ambition of becoming king drove him to stab king Duncan. Macbeth wants to be king more than anything in the world, more then sleep or emotion and gives it all up to become king. To be an ambitious man is a good thing, but when ambition leads to ignorance of other people it does not only damage the people you are hurting but as well as yourself.

Knowing too much about the future can always distort a person. Macbeth knew too much about his future, but did not understand how to interpret the prophecies. He interprets the predictions the wrong way and slowly takes another step into his grave. Macbeth makes a huge error when he discovers that a man who isn’t born by woman cannot kill him. “Be bloody, bold and resolute; laugh to scorn the power of man, for none woman born shall harm Macbeth.”(IV,i 85-87). Every man is born from a woman but he does not take caesarean section into consideration. Thinking that he is indestructible he also thinks that Banqou’s sons will not become king. “ Macbeth shall live, the lease of nature pay his breath to time and mortal custom.” (IV, iii, 107-109). Of course no one under any circumstances can be invincible. The thought of being unstoppable goes to Macbeth’s head and begins to mock everyone. “Here is ten thousand”…”Geese, villains?” (V, iii, 13-14). He is not taking the warning seriously from the servant about the army against him, waiting to over throw him. In Macbeth’s situation knowing too much makes him single minded, which destroys him in the end.

As king, Macbeth has complete control over everyone, being power hungry such as Macbeth and controlling, he wants to keep his name as King of Scotland and will do anything to protect his name. He would even go to the extreme as to kill innocent people. By killing innocent people he takes it one step further. A huge error that Macbeth makes is the killing of his loyal friend Banqou. He is afraid that Banqou will kill him in order for his children to receive the throne of Scotland. “In seeking to augment still keep my bosom franchised and allegiance clear I shall’d be counsell”d.” (Banqou) ( ). Banqou has no intention of murder, and in killing his dear loyal friend, he pays by losing his insanity, and his life begins to crumble and fall apart. Killing Macduff’s family is sheer hatred and utter disgust. Macduff is in England so instead of killing him when he returns; he decides to take it out on Macduff’s family. “ The castle of Macduff I will surprise; seize upon Fife ; give to the edge o’ the sword his wife, his babes and all unfortunate souls that trace him in his line.” (IV, I, 165-167). Macbeth killing Macduff’s family does not make him weaker but stronger in the sense that he now wants revenge. Macbeth’s foolishness to protect him and kill anyone in his way, dug yet another step deeper into hell.

The events in Macbeth’s life do not occur from fate, but from his own actions. The decision that he makes ultimately send him to hell which are the ambition to become king, the ignorance that he gives the predictions, and taking it a step further by murdering innocent people. Macbeth’s poor judgment and ignorance slowly paved the dark path into hell, not fate. And there is one but one . athe number oen is onely and is always on top but can someone wver witch sides.

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10 Responses to “Macbeth Fate or Free Will”
  • hmmmm
    May 11th, 2008 at 11:17 am

    there are a lot of typos!!!!!!!!!!!

    some are:::::

    “… but when ambition leads to ignorance of other people it does not only damage the people you are hurting but as well as yourself.”

    —-> ‘ but when ambition leads to the ignorance of other people, not only are you hurting them, but you will inevitably hurt yourself as well.’
    ~~or something likle that would be better…i dont write very well but that one jumped out at me


    “…he pays by losing his insanity…”
    —–>one loses their SANITY without the in- and then becomes insane…

    “Banqou” ?!?!?!?!?!?! its BanqUO (bang-kwō)

  • reader
    November 8th, 2008 at 9:48 am

    aside from the mistakes, I found this very informative and useful. :D Great Job!

  • stephen
    April 29th, 2009 at 11:10 am

    i think macbeth was an inspiration

  • Guest
    May 2nd, 2010 at 5:24 pm

    That’s an amazing piece you wrote.

  • Bob
    January 31st, 2011 at 10:53 pm

    if you are that good then wrote one yourself

  • Phillip
    February 28th, 2011 at 12:36 am

    i actually think these are very good ideas. very well put out on paper as well. organized, neat and i followed everything. I also agree with your point, which helps i’m sure. very nice piece i’m impressed.

  • laura
    May 23rd, 2011 at 4:30 pm

    some of the things you said are not accurate. For example after hearing his future from the weird sisters, it was lady macbeth who felt they should kill duncan in order to gain the crown

  • teh
    May 11th, 2012 at 8:26 pm


  • Raemsie
    May 16th, 2012 at 1:22 pm


    Incorrect. It is said, rather explicitly, that Macbeth was having thoughts of killing Duncan, and it was making him terrified. However, if Lady Macbeth had not browbeaten Macbeth with insults like ‘coward’, he likely wouldn’t have gone through with the deed.

  • k
    June 10th, 2012 at 4:06 pm


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