Destiny for Macbeth?

Essay by student452Junior High, 9th grade August 2004

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"Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice; it is not a thing to be waited

for, it is a thing to be achieved." (William Jennings Bryan) Are we in control of our own destiny,

our own fate, or are our lives really already planned and mapped out for us? Does Macbeth

willfully choose evil in order to achieve his "destiny"? Or, is his "destiny" doomed by the

witches' prophecies? Macbeth may not have made any of his same choices, if the three Weird

sisters hadn't come to him. In Shakespeare's play Macbeth, Macbeth is no pawn of fate.

Although Macbeth was destined to become king, the path he chose to take to achieve his

aspiration of obtaining the throne was of his own free will. Macbeth knew exactly what he was

doing in order to attain his destiny of becoming king. Although Macbeth was skeptical about the

witches' predictions he later learned as the play progressed that destiny truly determined his


The prophecy of the witches was that Macbeth would become king. Nowhere did the

witches predict the following events in Macbeth's life before he reached the throne. The

prophecy of Macbeth becoming Thane of Cawdor had already come true, enhancing Macbeth's

aspirations of becoming king. The second prophecy would certainly come true for him, but he

has to choose how to get there. Macbeth was destined for the throne, however obtaining that

destiny was completely up to him. Killing Duncan seemed to be the only way for him, even

though he knew it was wrong. Macbeth was well-aware his actions were immoral and unjust,

and he continued with the murders anyway. He contemplates the reasons for why it would be

wrong to kill Duncan, showing he could have just as easily chosen...