Sealed Fate, focuses on the theme "Character is destiny" as it applies to Macbeth by Shakespeare

Essay by Dan LaBrashHigh School, 11th gradeA, February 1997

download word file, 3 pages 3.7

Downloaded 62 times

In the play Macbeth, written by William Shakespeare,

each characters destiny seems to be predetermined. This

raises the ultimate question: who, or what, controls fate?

Existentialism is the belief that each person defines

their future by their decided actions: that the future has

not yet been written. Fatalism is the belief that the

outcome of all events is preordained, and therefore,

unalterable. Throughout Macbeth, the character Macbeth

makes many decisions which clearly affect his future, but

are they truly decisions? Or, are his decisions

examples of fatalism, where another force is guiding his

actions to their predetermined conclusion?

Many of the characters, events, and much of the

imagery in Macbeth indicates that fate plays a prominant

role in advancing the plot. The characters most easily

identified with having supernatural powers are, obviously,

the three witches.

The Witches' ability to see into the future is

demonstrated when Macbeth becomes thane of Cawdor. The

line, 'What? Can the devil speak true?' showes Banquo's

surprise at the realization of the prophecy.

But, would the Witches' prophecy of Macbeth's royal

promotion have come true had they not made Macbeth aware of

the possibility? There was no reason to warn Macbeth of the

fate in store for him, since it is most likely impossible

for a person to alter their destiny. It is quite possible

that the witches have no real power at all, beyond that of

suggestion. They may have only planted the idea within

Macbeth, feeding off his already present ambition. Perhaps

the only true controlling power comes from Lady Macbeth's

uncontrollable greed.

Once Lady Macbeth had learned of the witches'

prophecy, she immediately concluded that Macbeth would not,

with his present persona, be able to attain that which fate

had bestowed upon him.

'...Hie thee hither,

That I may pour...