Macbeth – Chance v Fate

By December 13, 2016 General Studies

“If Chance will have me king, why Chance may crown me Without my stir.” Discuss how this quotation relates to the themes expressed in the text of Macbeth?.

It wasn’t fate that guided Macbeth’s course, rather it was his own free will and external influences that did so. The witches manipulation of Macbeth, Lady Macbeth’s influence, Macbeth’s active participation in fulfilling the prophecies and conflicting thoughts, are all factors that show that it was his own free will which determined his future. William Shakespeare’s Macbeth details the rise and gradual fall of a Scottish General, Macbeth. In the opening scenes, Macbeth is approached by three witches who propehcise that he”d become King of Scotland. Knowing the burden of ascension, Macbeth decides to kill the king. One of the most common questions asked about the tragedy of Macbeth is whether it was Macbeth’s fate or his own free will that lead to his murder of King Duncan and his eventual downfall.

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Many people consider that because the witches” predictions came true, it was Macbeth’s destiny to kill Duncan and become King. However, the witches weren’t able to directly control Macbeth’s actions and had no real power to ensure their predictions came true. In Act I Scene III, one of the witches says “Though his bark cannot be lost, Yet it shall be tempest-tossed.” The quote means that although the witches were unable to sink a sailor’s ship, they were able to send tempests to start the boat rocking. They relate this to their current situation with Macbeth. When the witches 1st meet Macbeth, they greet him as “Thane of Cawdor.” When Macbeth learns of the previous thane’s execution, he’s influenced into believing that the other prophecies of him becoming king, will also come true. In Act I Scene IV, when Duncan names his son, Malcolm as heir to the throne, Macbeth is spurred to take action to fulfill his ambitions. After killing Duncan, Macbeth simply says “I have done the deed.

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