2.Elements of Fate
Throughout the play, there are several occasions
which may either be interpreted as manipulation of
Macbeth’s character, or more dramatically as prophecies
of his inevitable destiny. The most important of these
elements are the supernatural witches. When Macbeth first
meets the Witches (I.iii.) – seemingly by accident – they
call him titles which have not yet been bestowed upon
him. It is unclear whether the Witches plant the idea of
earning these titles by foul play to Macbeth’s head, or
whether it is a prophecy of future. Either way, their
words eventually become reality.
The further encounters with the Weyward Sisters and
Hecate strengthens the idea of a preset destiny. The
three apparitions summoned by the witches (IV.i.) and the
prophecies that go together with them are all visions of
the future. Unfortunaly for Macbeth he manages to read
these manifestations of his destiny all wrong.
Another important ‘fatal’ element for Macbeth is
Lady Macbeth. She is also heavily manipulating Macbeth
(II.ii.), although she does not have the supernatural
qualities of the Witches. She is clearly a woman driven
by an infinite lust for power. However, the only way for
her to fulfill her personal agenda is through her
husband, Macbeth. Lady Macbeth’s character can be easily
interpreted as a manifestation of the darker side of the
human mind, an instrument between Macbeth and the
realization of his inevitable destiny.
3.Free Will Diminished
When Macbeth has become King and felt power, he
doesn’t want to give it up. At first he wasn’t at peace
because he wanted the throne, but hesitated to carry out
the murder. Now that he has the throne, he loses his
peace with the prospect of losing the crown. His only
choice now is to kill Banquo and Fleance. He is trying to
work against prophecy – the third apparition – something
he never learns not to do.
While Macbeth carries out his dark deeds, he becomes
a somewhat different person; he no longer possesses
control over his destiny. His head becomes filled with
images of murder, ghosts and other signs of a disturbed
mind. The vision of the dagger (II.i.) is the earliest
example of the duality and unstability of his character.
Macbeth’s mind is contemplating the murder of Duncan, but
he clearly hasn’t come to terms with it.
After he has carried out the murder, Macbeth is able
to keep a mask of innocence. When he has the doubtful
Banquo murdered, and his ghost appears to haunt him
(III.iv.), the frailty of his sanity is revealed to the
whole court. This may be regarded as a culmination point;
either of his insanity, or the supernatural elements of
the play. Once again, whether Macbeth’s sanity is failing
or his vision is a ‘real’ ghost, it makes no difference:
He has lost control over his actions and reactions.
Macbeth’s inevitable progress is the result of
multiple separate factors. First, we see the Witches
giving the spark to his hidden fantasies of power. Next,
the femme fatale, Lady Macbeth manipulates him further.
This is enough to make him commit murder