Free Will In Shakespeare's Macbeth

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Are humans but the playthings of a higher power, walking blindly along a predetermined path? Or are humans completely in control of their life, and use fate as an excuse to justify their misdeeds? The main character in Shakespeare’s Macbeth brings these questions to the forefront, and it must be decided whether his heinous crimes were the result of a prophecy or if he was merely using the prophecy as an excuse to carry out his heart’s darkest desires. Free will can be defined as the presence of a choice, full knowledge of the consequences, and the lack of external constraint. In Shakespeare’s play Macbeth, Macbeth’s internal conflict and his freedom to carry out his actions proves that Macbeth acts of his own free will and is therefore solely responsible for the crimes he has committed. The basic definition of free will is the existence of a choice, and Macbeth had two clear paths he could have taken. Macbeth’s choice began with the witches’ prophecy. Upon seeing him, the witches shout “All hail, Macbeth, that shalt be king hereafter!” (1.3.51). The witches never specify how or why Macbeth would become king, and the prophecy said nothing about killing Duncan, the current king of Scotland. Macbeth then struggles …show more content…
Macbeth is cognizant of the two paths that are open for him to take, he is mindful of the consequences that will follow his actions, and he recognizes his ability to act without any outside forces restraining him. Inside every human are dark wishes and desires. The majority of the time, these thoughts are buried and never come to fruition. But in Macbeth’s case, his ambition was acknowledged and even encouraged, making him believe he was on the right path. The prophecy was not responsible for Macbeth’s crime, it was only responsible for waking the beast inside of Macbeth and helping him realize the depths of his

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