Sample Essay on:
The Theme of Fate and Free Will in William Shakespeare’s “Macbeth”

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Essay / Research Paper Abstract

A 2.5 page paper which examines how much of Macbeth’s actions were determined by fate and free will in Shakespeare’s most violent tragedy. Bibliography lists 4 sources.

Page Count:

2 pages (~225 words per page)

File: TG15_TGmacfw.rtf

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Unformatted sample text from the term paper:

bloodiest of the Bards tales, Macbeth. As the play opens, the loyal Macbeth is proclaimed the Thane of Cawdor by King Duncan of Scotland for his outstanding service to the crown in the protection of its territory. However, this was not sufficient to fulfill Macbeths insatiable ambition; in fact, it merely whetted his (and the equally willful Lady Macbeths) appetite for more. Shortly thereafter, Macbeth was greeted by a trio of witches who issued to him a most cryptic prophecy: THIRD WITCH. All hail, Macbeth, that shalt be King hereafter!... FIRST WITCH. Lesser than Macbeth, and greater. SECOND WITCH. Not so happy, yet much happier. THIRD WITCH. Thou shalt get kings, though thou be none. / So all hail, Macbeth and Banquo! (I.iii.52, 67-70) Somewhat confused by these revelations, Macbeth demands more information, imploring, "Stay, you imperfect speakers, tell me more... / You owe this strange intelligence, or why / Upon this blasted heath you stop our way / With such prophetic greeting? Speak, I charge you" (I.iii.72, 78-80). However, the three witches vanish without divulging anything more. According to G.L. Kittredge who is an authority on witchcraft, these "were not ordinary witches... They were great powers of destiny, great ministers of fate. They had determined the past; they not only foresaw the future, but decreed it" (Coursen 24). From that moment on Macbeth charts a course of bloody destruction. By Act II, he receives another haunting vision which also appears to be indicative of the destiny that awaits him: "Is this a dagger which I see before me, / The handle toward my hand? Come, let me clutch thee. / I have thee not, and yet I see thee still. / Art thou not, fatal ...

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