Fate and destiny determine Macbeth's outcome

Essay by klutz3572High School, 10th gradeA+, April 2004

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Many types of people exist in this world. A majority of those people believe in either free will or fate/destiny. All of these people make their own decisions, but how? Who tells them what to do? Or do they decide on their own? Whether or not fate actually exists is something some people spend their entire lives searching for. In the play Macbeth by William Shakespeare, the Weird Sisters act as agents of fate to show Macbeth the path he is meant to take and they succeed in manipulating him with their prophecies.

At first, Macbeth is wary of the Weird Sisters and their prophecies. He wants to believe them, certainly, but he cannot trust the prediction. But after he discovers that the first part of the Sisters prophecy has come true, him becoming Thane of Cawdor, he begins to believe that he will be king. However, he hides this newfound glimmer of hope for himself from all those but his wife, who was quite possibly the worst person he could have told.

But he soon finds obstacles when Duncan names Malcolm as his heir. After discovering this fact, Macbeth exclaims: "Oh Prince of Cumberland! That is a step/ on which I must fall down o'erleap,/ for in my way it lies" (1.4.55-57). This begins Macbeth's decision to kill Duncan so he can become king, although the Weird Sisters never specified how he was to become king. They never once told him that he had to kill Duncan; he chooses to. Macbeth makes the choice to become king by killing Duncan. That does not, however, change the fact that Macbeth would not have even begun to think of being king without speaking to the witches. Like Cumberland Clark said in his book Shakespeare and the Supernatural, "Man still retained...