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Word Count: 831
In the play Macbeth written by William Shakespeare each characters destiny seems to be predetermined This raises the ultimate question who or what controls fate Existentialism is the belief that each person defines their future by their decided actions that the future has not yet been written Fatalism is the belief that the outcome of all events is preordained and therefore unalterable Throughout Macbeth the character Macbeth makes many decisions which clearly affect his future but are they truly decisions Or are his decisions examples of fatalism where another force is guiding his actions to their predetermined conclusion Many of the characters events and much of the imagery in Macbeth indicates that fate plays a prominant role in advancing the plot The characters most easily identified with having supernatural powers are obviously the three witches The Witches ability to see into the future is demonstrated when Macbeth becomes thane of Cawdor The line What Can the devil speak true showes Banquos surprise at the realization of the prophecy But would the Witches prophecy of Macbeths royal promotion have come true had they not made Macbeth aware of the possibility There was no reason to warn Macbeth of the fate in store for him since it is most likely impossible for a person to alter their destiny It is quite possible that the witches have no real power at all beyond that of suggestion They may have only planted the idea within Macbeth feeding off his already present ambition Perhaps the only true controlling power comes from Lady Macbeths uncontrollable greed Once Lady Macbeth had learned of the witches prophecy she immediately concluded that Macbeth would not with his present persona be able to attain that which fate had bestowed upon him Hie thee hither That I may pour my spirits in thine ear And chastise with valor of my tongue All
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