Macbeth


In the play, Macbeth, by William Shakespeare, Macbeth’s future is never determined by an uncontrollable and irresistible force such as fate. Through the play it is seen that Macbeth becomes the Thane of Cawdor, the king and finally, to die a damned soul. Although it seems as though some kind of force is controlling Macbeth and his actions, further reflection on the play reveals that Macbeth’s future is determined by his own actions, the advice of others and some chance and luck. Macbeth’s future was not controlled by fate.


Macbeth earns the title of the Thane of Cawdor by his own actions and his bravery in battle. After the king learns of Macbeth’s bravery and valor, he decides to honor Macbeth;


“What he has lost noble Macbeth hath won”


(Act1, sc2,68)


It is clearly seen that Macbeths own actions determines that he becomes the Thane of Cawdor. Fate does not decide that Macbeth should become the Thane of Cawdor, it is Macbeth who earns himself the title through his actions.


Macbeth’s future includes becoming the king of Scotland. In order to gain the kingship Macbeth must choose to take certain steps. The main action that Macbeth takes to gain the throne is to commit the murder of King Duncan and his guards.


He commits these murders because he is acting on his interpretation of the witches prophecies. Macbeth’s future is not determined by the witch’s advice, but rather it is decided by his own actions, which happen to be influenced by this advice.


This shows that Macbeth is ambitious and he actually wants to be the King. Macbeth is not forced to become King because he is never controlled by fate. He takes carefully planned out and thought through actions and pre-meditates the murder of King Duncan;


“…bend up


each corporal agent to this terrible feat”


(Act1, Sc7, 79-80)


Macbeth is saying that he needs every power in his own body to commit the murder of King Duncan. He is not forced by an unnatural power to murder King Duncan but he forces himself to find the power he needs to carry out the murder.


When Macbeth changes his mind about murdering King Duncan, Lady Macbeth manages to persuade Macbeth the caring out the murder is the more manly and honorable thing to do.


“When you durst do it, then you were a man;


And to be more than what you were, you would


Be so much more the man.”


(Act 1 sc7, 49-51)


Although Lady Macbeth has a heavy influence over Macbeth, Macbeth is still the one who decides for himself that he will murder King Duncan.


When Macbeth murders King Duncan he is not acting on behalf of the people of Scotland, he is acting to serve his own ambition. Even Macbeth sees Duncan as a noble and worthy king;


“Duncan


Hath bourne his faculties so meek, hath been


So clear in his great office”


(Act 1, Sc7, 16-18)


Macbeth is only acting to serve his own “Vaulting ambition” which shows that he consciously wants to be King and because of this it is obvious that no overpowering force is controlling his actions and thoughts.


When the murder of King Duncan is more closely examined, it is clearly seen that although Macbeth gained heavy influence from other sources, including the witches and Lady Macbeth, it is ultimately Macbeth alone who commits the murder of King Duncan and his guards.


Macbeth lives his life in a way which results in his damnation. Macbeth leads an honorable life up until his ambition makes him kill King Duncan in order to become king. By killing the king Macbeth cuts himself off from God and his choices after that event show that he is not willing to repair his relationship with God.


As soon as Macbeth kills King Duncan is easily seen that he is to be damned;


“I could not say ‘amen’


When they did say ‘God bless us”


(Act 2 ,sc 2, 27-28)


After this Macbeth expresses his fear of damnation but this fear does not have any effect on his ambition. Although Macbeth does not want to go to hell he seems to want to keep the kingship instead of living an honorable life.


Throughout Macbeth’s time as king he does nothing to try and repair his relationship with God. In addition to this Macbeth takes further actions to ensure that he