Please note! This essay has been submitted by a student.
Macbeth’s outcome is due to fate but free will decided how quickly he would gain his power and lose his power. Macbeth’s story is all “free will” when you first look at it, but there was a underlining fate that Macbeth could not escape no matter what he would do. The witches are at the source of this problem when they give Macbeth his “fate” that turns out to be pretty ironic, in the sense that he is told he will become king but not that he is going to die because of this.
Macbeth and Banquo are both told very similar things and both come true, but one goes out on a limb and does what he thinks he needs to do to get his fate fulfilled. This corresponds to the first time fate pops up in the play. Macbeth and Banquo meet the three witches that tell them both their prophecies. This does not change Macbeth becoming king or not becoming king, it just allows Macbeth to know what is in his future. Now when the witches tell macbeth this originally they do not tell him that he needs to kill duncan or that he will become a murderer, and the same goes to banquo. As we know Banquo’s kin get to become King, but he does not kill anyone. If this is fate for Banquo than it would be the same of Macbeth. This is ones of the biggest pieces of evidence that it was fate and not free will for Banquo and the same for Macbeth.
The witches predicted something for Macbeth and he did not have to do anything except be himself. When we first meet the witches they tell Macbeth about becoming king but they also tell him about becoming Thane of Cawdor. The witches say that soon he will become Thane of Cawdor and didn’t need to kill anyone (except the enemy). When they tell him he will be Thane of Cawdor they give a time span which is soon and they do not give this for his prophecy of becoming king. This is another one of the biggest proofs that the witches are just foreseeing his future and not trying to manipulate him into doing what they want him to do.
Macbeth could have become king without killing anyone. Macbeth takes it upon himself to kill Duncan as it is the only feasible way that he can see to become king. Once his son Macduff is crowned successor and that he will become king Macbeth sees nott hope and this is one of the main reasons he finally kills Duncan, but did he really need to do it? We do not fully know, the witches could have been professing about much later on in his life (20 -25 years) or maybe even 10 days but Macbeth is keen on having what he wants when he wants it. Duncan could have died and same with Macduff, but we will not know because Macbeth killed them.
Everything that happened to Macbeth and Banquo were going to happen one way or another. The actions that Macbeth took in this play did not determine what was going to happen, but when it was going to happen. Him killing Duncan only made him become king faster not king alone. Macbeth killing Banquo just made the death of Banquo happen sooner rather than later. Banquo was eventually going to die of old age, maybe even by murderers hands but Macbeth just quick the timeline of this event. Macbeth’s death also was inevitable. If Macbeth would have become king without killing Duncan there still would have been people who are jealous of him, maybe even another similar to Macbeth. The witches forced his and Banquo’s fate but did not give a timeline.
Macbeth was given a fate by the witches that was set in stone before they even told it to him. Macbeth did not know this and he tried to make his somewhat distant fate become a reality at that very moment. Macbeth’s actions throughout the play did not determine the if but the when. When was Macbeth going to become king, when was Banquo going to die, when Macbeth himself was going to die, and even when Lady Macbeth was going to die.