Help with essay on the theme of free will in MacbethI need guided support on writing my essay. Can be as long as I want, but atleast 5 paragraphs. I have my thesis, which has been constructed...

Help with essay on the theme of free will in Macbeth

I need guided support on writing my essay. Can be as long as I want, but atleast 5 paragraphs. I have my thesis, which has been constructed already.

*The essay is talking about Macbeth and how everyone including him, have free will. In the story, Macbeth was lured to send people to kill Macduffs family. My opinion is, he was, out of his own free will, the one responsible for those actions.*

3 Answers

litteacher8's profile pic

litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

Is this your thesis?  I would suggest that you remove the beginning.  Your thesis should mention how Shakespeare uses Macbeth to demonstrate that we have free will.  You should avoid "this essay will talk about" statements.

pmiranda2857's profile pic

pmiranda2857 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

You are right about Macbeth and his decisions being choices that he made using free will.  When he decides to begin murdering, starting with King Duncan, it is because of his unchecked ambition which is influenced by the witches prophecy.  But Macbeth makes a real choice when he goes through with the murder, after having a debate with his conscience and being prodded by Lady Macbeth with pleadings and warnings about his manhood and his love for her.

Macbeth weighs his options and decides to kill the king.  Then once he becomes king, he again decides that it is in his best interest to kill Banquo and Fleance, yes influenced by the witches prophecy, but he sees them as a viable threat to his present status, so he sends murderers to kill them.  Fleance escapes only fueling Macbeth's paranoia about everyone wanting to kill him and take his crown.

When he sends the murdering thugs to kill everyone in Macduff's household, he is sending a message to Macduff based on the witches prophecy that he should be ware Macduff.  Again, Macbeth believes that he is making a good decision regarding his security as king.  All the killing is done to secure his reign, to thwart the possibility of anyone challenging his authority to rule.

He chooses with free will, he accepts the witches prophecy and acts upon it by choice.  He could just as easily dismissed the prophecy as the ravings of madwomen.

kmieciakp's profile pic

kmieciakp | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Assistant Educator

Posted on

You might analyze Macbeth's speech at the end of 4.1--explain how the grammar of the speech reveals his free will.  Present the significance of his using particular parts of speech or grammatical constructions--for instance, you might for one paragraph discuss the way his verbs reveal the free will of his decision; another paragraph might explain the same by his use of personal pronouns, and another paragraph might argue the significance of his imperative sentence structure. 

Or you might find three other ways the speech reveals that he chooses and owns his choice of killing Macduff's family--whatever parts of the speech you wind up choosing to use to support your case, know also that Macbeth even underscores the freely willed nature of that choicewhen he finally meets Macduff: "my soul is too much charged / With blood of thine already" (5.8).