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The Role and Temptation of Fate in Macbeth

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Amir Nissan

on 3 June 2014

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Transcript of The Role and Temptation of Fate in Macbeth

Temptation of Fate
Shakespeare's point of view on tempting fate is that it will lead to ones own downfall, and destruction. This is evident through the characters; Macbeth, Lady Macbeth, and the three Witches.
Exam Results, and Macbeth:

This video is about a kid named Saar Oz who writes a poem about how we shouldn't let society dictate our fate. He also talks about how we are not given a choice on whether or not to take our fate into our own hands. He believes that a grade/mark result should not be able to decide our destiny. He wants to tempt fate rather than let it be controlled, and manipulated. This can relate to Macbeth, and Lady Macbeth because they both don't believe in letting destiny happen, so they decide to take their fates into their own hands, and go on a murder spree to protect their reigns as king, and Queen of Scotland.
The Role of Fate in Macbeth
Fate plays a very significant, and fixed role in the play. In a fatalistic universe, the outcome of ones fate is predetermined, and inevitable to change. In Macbeth, the Witches represent this influence. The play makes an important distinction; either fate may dictate what will be, or fate will be not disrupted, but altered to the best of its ability so that ones destiny can become more achievable. But how that destiny is to come is up to ones own free will, and choice. An example from this play is Macbeth. Although Macbeth is told by the witches that he will become king, he is not told how to achieve this destiny of his; the rest is up to him. It is his destiny to become king, but Macbeth decides to tempt his fate by using his own free will, and choice to alter not the outcome of his destiny but how that destiny is achieved. This ultimately leads to his own downfall and the deaths of many innocent people.
Macbeth and The Temptation of Fate
"All hail Macbeth! Hail to thee, thane of Glamis! All hail Macbeth! Hail to thee, thane of Cawdor! All hail Macbeth! That shalt be king hereafter." (Act 1, Scene 3, [50-53]). This quote clarifies exactly what Macbeth's prophecies are. His journey of tempting fate begins right here. When Macbeth receives the predictions, he doesn't believe them. When the witches gave out his prophecies, he was already the thane of Glamis. He was neither thane of Cawdor or a King. When he was bestowed upon the title of thane of Cawdor, he was surprised because that meant that the witches predictions were actually true. This leads to Macbeth believing that he will be King one day, and becomes infatuated about the idea of it. When the two prophecies come true, he starts to over think the third prophecy, and how he can achieve it, rather than letting the prediction actually come true by itself. Since Macbeth becomes obsessed with the idea of becoming King, he starts to tempt fate, and begins to let his own destiny be controlled by his own free will, and choice, leading to his own demise. Although the witches may have tempted Macbeth by their predictions, Macbeth tempted his own fate by acting out on what the witches said. This leads to him killing King Duncan, and then tragically dying in the end.

The Roles, and Significance of Fate, and Temptation in The Play, Macbeth.
Lady Macbeth and The Temptation of Fate
Lady Macbeth tempts fate by supporting Macbeth's decision to kill Duncan to become king. When Lady Macbeth hears Macbeth's prophecies, her greed, and ambition to reign as Queen beside her husband helps her to instantly derive a plan to get the guards drunk, so that Macbeth can kill King Duncan. Although her plan was successful, in the end, her guilt consumes her, leading her to killing herself. This relates to the temptation of fate because she tempted Macbeth's fate by creating her own fate, and tempting it as well, instead of letting everything happen by itself. This ultimately led to her own destruction, and proving that Shakespeare's point of view on tempting fate was true.
The Three Witches and The Temptation of Fate
The witches are seen to be the biggest influences on the temptation of fate in the play because they are the ones who are associated with the prophecies. The quote "Though shalt get kings, though thou be none." (Act 1, Scene 3, [70]), was given to Banquo by the witches when he was with Macbeth. Throughout the play, Macbeth begins to gain power, and sees Banquo to be a threat to his title due to his prophecy of his kids becoming kings. This leads to Banquo being killed by murderers that Macbeth hired. This relates back to the temptation of fate because the witches tempted his fate by giving out his prophecies in front of Macbeth, knowing that he will
become king, and one day kill his best friend. Even
though the witches did not actually kill Banquo,
they were still fully aware of what Macbeth was
capable of doing, and to what extreme
he would be going to.
In conclusion, the role of fate in the play was very significant, but also very fixed, and altered due to the decision of free will, and choice. Shakespeare's point of view on tempting fate is if one is to control their own destiny, they also control their own destruction. He evidently proved this through the characters of Macbeth, Lady Macbeth, and the three Witches.
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