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The Effects Of Fate In Shakespeare’s Macbeth

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Fate is a recurring theme that is mainly shown through the story Macbeth. Characters seen throughout the story are diverse and have their own struggles but all seem to be affected by fate, some more than others. The different characters answer these questions about fate in different ways and at different times, but the final answers are hard to figure out. The effects of fate will be identified through the most significant characters and this will affect them negatively. Macbeth is a story about fate and how the lives of people can be ruined by it.

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When being told by the witches about what Macbeth’s future plans were to be, he goes on to say “Stay, you imperfect speakers, tell me more: By Sinel’s death I know I am Thane of Glamis: but how of Cawdor?”. This quote explains Macbeth’s confusion and his eagerness to learn more cause as the audience knows, he will become Thane of Cawdor just a few moments later into the play. All Macbeth wants is power and wealth just as anyone would but he would stoop to the lowest he could go to get this power. He tries to master this fate and try to attain all of this power like the witches’ promised but it is well known that you cannot master fate and still be high and almighty. By trying to master fate, he brings himself to his tragic death by King Duncan’s son.

Like Macbeth, Banquo thinks big thoughts for himself, but he does not turn those thoughts into action. In a sense, Banquo’s character stands as an opposite to Macbeth, since he represents the path Macbeth chose not to take, a path in which ultimately did not lead to betrayal and murder. After the witches’ leave, Banquo goes on to says “But tis strange : And oftentimes, to win us to our harm, The instruments of darkness tell us truths, Win us with honest trifles, to betray’s In deepest consequence”. The quote above foreshadows the fate of Macbeth and how the prophecy told by the witches’ was correct and led to his downfall as a character because he ended up killing his best friend. In addition to Macbeth’s guilt for killing Banquo, the ghost also reminds Macbeth that he did not emulate Banquo’s reaction to the witches’ prophecy. Although Macbeth and Banquo were two significant characters affected by fate, there is still one more character who was also greatly influenced by fate.

Lady Macbeth is the final character in the play Macbeth to be negatively affected by fate. Lady Macbeth chooses the path of evil to fulfill her wants and desires but nevertheless, all that evil brings to her is madness. She is a manipulating character and influences Macbeth to kill King Duncan so they could become wealthy, but Lady Macbeth really only wants to be wealthy and not do any of the horrific acts to gain the wealth. When King Duncan is killed and some time has passed, Lady Macbeth begins to lose her mind and start sleepwalking and talking at night. She says “Out, damned spot! Out, I say!. . . Yet who would have thought the old man to have had so much blood in him?”. As stated by Lady Macbeth, she is trying to wash off the imaginary blood from King Duncan off her hands because she realizes his death is her fault. After this event occurs every thing that happens after negatively affects Lady Macbeth and makes her go even crazier. Before the battle of Dunsinane it is known that the queen, Lady Macbeth has died and is later specified as a suicide. Malcolm goes on to say about Lady Macbeth “Who, as tis thought, by self and violent hands Took off her life”. Even though Lady Macbeth did not say this, it is still known that she ended up killing herself due to all of the mental issues she had going since the death of King Duncan. She thought that with becoming wealthy and Queen that she may not carry issues but as it turns out the effect of fate affected her quite negatively.

10 October 2020

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