The Theme of Fate vs Free Will in MacbethThe tragedy of macbeth written by English poet and writer William Shakespeare is a play that dramatizes the power of physical, emotional, and mental well being while seeking political ambition for power and authority. One of the important themes in the play Macbeth is the power of Fate vs Free will. The play focuses on whether the main character Macbeth, a scottish general has destiny based on his fate or his free will. Throughout the play macbeth makes many decisions like the killing of his first cousin king duncan of scotland and, the killing of noble general banquo. The decisions made by Macbeth examines and makes the readers want to know whether it was macbeth’s fate or his free will to make the decisions that he does. Fate is the development of events beyond a person’s control regarded as determined by a supernatural power.
fate can also be referred to as destiny, which suggests that events are unavoidable and unchangeable (”Fate in Macbeth”). Whatever happens in life is meant to be and cannot be changed by mankind. In act 1 scene 3 the three witches visit macbeth and banquo ,then greet macbeth and say “All hail, Macbeth Hail to thee, thane of Glamis! All hail, Macbeth Hail to thee, thane of Cawdor! All hail, Macbeth Hail to thee, thou shall be King hereafter!” the three witches make three prophecies; macbeth will become the thane of cawdor, king, and banquo’s sons will become kings but banquo will not. Although predictions were made by the witches saying that macbeth would become the thane of cawdor and then the future king, that didn’t stop macbeth from acting.
Now the focus is on whether macbeth ”taking matters into his own hands” about the predictions of becoming the king and the thane was his fate , or is it possible that macbeth was just following his fate from the start as predicted by the witches. Free will is the power of acting without the constraint of necessity or fate; the ability to act at one’s own discretion.