The question of freewill is one that has been argued throughout time. Many stories have been written to persuade one to believe in either predestination or freewill. Macbeth is a wonderful example of this, pitting predestination against freewill. Macbeth’s ambitious actions in an effort to fulfill the prophecy given to him by the three witches were driven solely by his own freewill.
Macbeth’s downfall is not caused by some sort of destiny or curse thrown upon him by the witches. Nothing that they predict for him just simply falls into his lap; likewise everything is done by his own power. In an effort to become King, he kills King Duncan by his own hand. If it had been predestined for him to become the King of Scotland, then the throne would have been simply given up to him. Instead his ambition to bring about this prophecy results in him assassinating the king. One might argue that he was dragged into doing this because of Lady Macbeth urging him to do it. However, one must remember he was completely against doing this dark deed, but he eventually succumbed to his wife. Freewill is defined as “the apparent ability of agents to make choices free from certain kinds of constraints.” Macbeth has all of the ability to ignore his wife, take a stand, or simply make the right choice. Macbeth is never portrayed at any point in the story as being weak or spineless, so why is he overpowered by his wife? It is because he agrees with her, and he makes the choice to compromise and frame the king’s sons Malcolm and Donaldbain for his murder. Although Lady Macbeth is very headstrong and forceful about what she wants, when she says “But screw your courage to the sticking place, and we’ll not fail. When Duncan is asleep- Whereto the rather shall his day’s hard journey soundly invite him- his two chamberlains will I wine and wassail so convince, that memory, the warder of the brain, shall be a fume,...
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