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Macbeth Fate vs. Free Will
Transcript of Macbeth Fate vs. Free Will
Fate or Free Will? By Erik Balkovec Fate Definition: Something that unavoidably befalls a person; fortune; lot.
Example: It is always his fate to be left behind. Free Will/Choice Definition: A free and independent choice; voluntary decision:
Example: You took on the responsibility of your own free will. Thesis Topic What is the role of fate in this play? Is Macbeth a helpless victim of fate? Is he completely in control of, and therefore responsible for his actions? How do the witches and apparent supernatural forces of evil factor into either fate or free will? Macbeth is NOT a helpless victim of fate as he was completely in control of, and therefore responsible for his actions. Macbeth is aware of his fate but believes only his actions can fulfill it. He was influenced by others and judged by those closest to him, but in the end, he alone was fully responsible for his actions. Discussion Question In your groups, think of a situation in the media where someone had to make a choice. What factors affected his/her choice? Was the outcome positive or negative? Discuss whether fate or free will played a role in your example. ? ? ? ? ? ? 1.3. 49-53 "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!"
This is the first example of fate in the play. Macbeth and Banquo heard the witches' prophecy for the first time, setting the play in motion. It is the very first example in the play where it gives Macbeth the idea of his fate. Witches Make Their Predictions 1.4.56-60 Macbeth Realizes He Cannot Leave His Fate to Chance Macbeth learns that King Duncan has named Malcom the Prince of Cumberland, who also happens to be the heir of the Scottish throne. This is the first time so far that Macbeth accepts that his fate will bring him nothing, but it's his actions that will "overleap" the obstruction to "his" throne. "The Prince of Cumberland! That is a step
On which I must fall down, or else overleap,
For in my way it lies. Stars, hide your fires!
Let not see my black and deep desires." 1.5.29-30 Lady Macbeth Gets an Idea... "Which fate and metaphysical aid doth seem
To have the crowned Withal." After receiving Macbeth's letter, she states that fate doesn't make things happen, but only their actions can make Macbeth become the King.
Their "action" is murder. What Does Fate Mean? What Does Free Will/Choice Mean? Macbeth Has Second Thoughts Shortly Before Lady Macbeth and Macbeth plan to murder Duncan, Macbeth's conscience kicks in. He starts to feel nervous and has second thoughts about their plan. Lady Macbeth convinces him otherwise, and they follow through with their plan. Once again, Macbeth demonstrates poor decision making, further proving that Macbeth is not a victim of fate. Act 1 Scene 7 Act 3 Scene 1 Macbeth Challenges
Fate Macbeth remembers the witches' prophecy that claims "Banquo's children will one day be King" so he decides to challenge fate. Knowing that all the previous prophecies have come true, Macbeth does anything he can to prevent this, so he murders Banquo. This example further proves how Macbeth realizes only his actions can cause or change his fate. Macbeth Challenges Fate...Again 4.1. 77-79 After hearing the witches' predictions again, Macbeth takes note of "beware Macduff" and knows he must do something about it. He openly challenges fate, and tries to kill him, but instead kills his entire family. "Macbeth! Macbeth! Macbeth!
Beware Macduff, Beware the Thane of Fife.
Dismiss me. Enough. " THE HAGS The Witches play a key part of the play because they basically create the storyline with their prophecies. Macbeth hears their prophecies and believes he needs to fulfill them. Although the witches do show Macbeth the future and his fate, it is ultimately Macbeth's decision to perform the deeds of murder. The witches gave him ideas and possibilites but it was his choice to carry it out. Do you think Macbeth was controlled by fate, or responsible for his actions? It is evident that Macbeth made the wrong decisions in his life, which he is completely responsible for, and he is not just a mere victim of fate.
Remember, "Choice not chance determines destiny!" Conclusion