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Macbeth, William Shakespeare, 1623 - Freewill, in Macbeth: the destiny to choose

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  1. Macbeth fulfills the prophecies
  2. The status of Banquo's prophecies is a mystery
  3. Banquo and Macbeth are ambitious about their future
  4. Macbeth's ability to think and act independently
  5. Macbeth's reaction to the floating dagger
  6. Macbeth and Lady Macbeth's decision to continue their actions

Every piece of life seems to be interconnected. They can be the pieces to a puzzle, or they can be a perception of a whole. In both cases, life is a culmination of one's actions. In Macbeth (hereinafter referred to as "the Play"), a predetermined path seems to be set for Macbeth. From the prophecies to the supernatural, Macbeth's actions actively contribute toward his undoing.
Although the supernatural may influence his life, Macbeth forges his own destiny by choosing his actions. In a world without freewill, actions can exist without reason; however, Macbeth's actions are made in context of his personality and situation. It is upon a conscious purpose that Macbeth has chosen his actions.

[...] For Lady Macbeth, her desire for power is passed onto Macbeth in the form of cruelty, ruthlessness, and deception. Similar to the prophecies, these ideas become the formulating foundation of Macbeth's actions. Henceforth, actions are controlled by the personal interpretation and circumstantial understanding of a situation. While external influences exist, Macbeth shows the ability to think and act independently. By acknowledging his position of being Duncan's ?kinsman and . subject?, he shows the existence of freedom of thought (I.vii.13). This eventually becomes action when he tells Lady Macbeth that they should ?proceed no further in this business? (I.vii.33). [...]


[...] Similarly, Macbeth could have reacted differently to the floating dagger. Regardless of its existence, bloody business which informs? could have appealed to his humanity (II.i.55). Even though the final decision is still murder, Macbeth's guilt creates variation and hesitation in his actions. With enough time, Macbeth could have been persuaded into not killing Duncan. Opposed to fate, actions pave one's life as they are being made. Conversely, in a world of fate, every action contributes to a unique and predetermined path. [...]

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