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How far is Macbeth responsible for his own fate?

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30 August, 2001 How far is Macbeth responsible for his own fate? During the play, Macbeth's fate is a downward spiral. He begins the play as a rich, respected and successful Thane, and a feared warrior on the battlefield. He has a good relationship with his wife, and he is liked and respected. By the end of the play he is a murderer, his men have abandoned him, his wife has committed suicide, and in the end he is killed by a former friend. His fate could have been the fault of himself, his wife or the witches. Or it could have been nobody's fault, just Macbeth's destiny. I agree that it was Macbeth's own responsibility, and his downfall was his own fault. One factor contributing to Macbeth's downfall could have been the actions of the witches. In Elizabethan times, people believed in witches and they were greatly feared, particularly at around the time MACBETH was written, as there had just been a large witch case that had raised people's awareness. Therefore, Shakespeare writing about witches would have had a great effect on his audience. Witches could sail in sieves, turn into animals, cause people to lose sleep and kill people and animals. ...read more.


She says to him "you shall." Lady Macbeth could be responsible for Macbeth's fate, because she starts his downward spiral, and makes him fall into a trap. But it may also have been partly due to him being easily manipulated and not making his own decisions. I think Macbeth was entirely responsible for his own fate. The cause of this may have been his ambition. Ambition is the main driving force of Macbeth, and he admits this when he is deciding what to do. He says, "I have no spur...only vaulting ambition." He is ruthless and merciless, because of his ambition. An example of this is that he mercilessly killed Macduff's family. There were innocent victims, but Macbeth had decided to "fight to the end." If Macbeth is entirely responsible for his own fate, then the witches are not. During the play, Macbeth's attitude toward the witches changes. His language and behavior alters towards them. At the beginning of the pay, when he and Banquo first see the witches, he is worried and scared. Banquo is a lot calmer and asks Macbeth why he appears scared of such good predictions. ...read more.


He becomes ruthless by choice. From the point that he makes this decision, he is totally responsible for his own fate, because he has made up his mind, and nothing can change it. Another choice Macbeth made was to deliberately go against God. The Elizabethans believed in "Divine Right," which meant that God chose who was going to be the king, and so to kill this chosen person was to go against God. Macbeth considers this and is frightened of eternal damnation, but he still decides to continue with the murders. Another view is that none of the characters, not even Macbeth, were responsible. This was the Elizabethan view, because they believed in fate, and that there was a set path in life that you had to take, there was no choice in it, and that was always going to be Macbeth's fate. I think that Macbeth was responsible for his own fate. There may have been a few factors that contributed, such as the witches and his wife, but I think that even without them Macbeth would have made the same decisions. This is due to his character (his ambition and the fact that he was easily manipulated) and his conscious decisions (such as his decisions to kill Duncan and to deliberately be ruthless. ...read more.

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