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Fate Vs Free Will - Macbeth

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Fate vs. Free Will

The ideas of fate vs. free will are constantly fought throughout Macbeth. Is it fate that caused Macbeth to rise as king and fall? Or is the reason Macbeth fell was from his own free will? I believe the main reason behind Macbeth's doings, is the idea of fate that causes Macbeth to use his own free will. He had the witches speaking his fate to him, yet his free will caused him to kill the king to replace him, and it was his free will that made him buckle under the pressure.

The first scene starts out with the three witches, planning to plant their seeds of ideas upon Macbeth. In Act 1, Scene 1, line 8, the third witch speaks, "There to meet with Macbeth," this contains the beginning plan to meet with Macbeth. And again the third witch states, "A drum, a drum! Macbeth doth come." (Act 1, scene iii, line 30-31). These both prove the point that it was their wanting to find Macbeth to tell him his prophesy. It was their idea to give Macbeth this idea, and then see where he will go with it. Then, Macbeth finally does cross paths with the three witches as they come up to him, proclaiming in act 1, scene iii, lines 49-50, "All hail, Macbeth! Hail to thee, Thane of Glamis!" Before meeting upon these witches, Macbeth was clueless to what would happen in the future. Yet, after the encounter with the witches, his mind is going back and forth trying to figure out how he should act upon his prophesy to be king. The idea of fate has been planted in his mind, and with such a good title to come with it, why wouldn't he want to believe it.

In act 2, the king's death is upon them. Macbeth heard his fate that he is to become king, yet he hears unsettling news. In act 1, scene IV, lines 48-50, Macbeth says, "The Prince of Cumberland! That is a step on which I must fall down, or else o'erleap..." Macbeth is stunned to find that there is already one in line of the throne, and it makes him start to really ponder at the idea of killing the king. It is his idea that it is his fate to be king, and it is what drives him to make it real. His lack of faith that fate will happen on its own caused him to weaken and take matters into his own hands. Macbeth's free will kills the king.

The main portion of Macbeth conveys Macbeth as this king, paranoid and going slightly crazy from the suggestions that he may not be king for long. He first begins the paranoia not long after he murders the king. In Act 3, scene ii, lines 13-15, Macbeth states his feelings, "We have scotched the snake, not killed it: she'll close and be herself, whilst our poor malice remains in danger or her former tooth." Macbeth is telling Lady Macbeth why he has killed Banquo. He is already fearful to be caught and to lose his kingship merely days after just receiving the title. Macbeth is collapsing. Everything makes him panic that he will



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