Macbeth Questions and Answers
by William Shakespeare

Macbeth book cover
Start Your Free Trial

What are 5 quotes from Macbeth about fate and free will?

Expert Answers info

Wallace Field eNotes educator | Certified Educator

briefcaseTeacher (K-12)


calendarEducator since 2016

write7,254 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Arts

Once King Duncan names his elder son, Malcolm, the Prince of Cumberland and heir to the throne, Macbeth says,

The Prince of Cumberland!  That is a step
On which I must fall down or else o'erleap,
For in my way it lies (1.4.55-57).

Earlier, Macbeth had expressed his hope that "chance" would crown him king without having to do anything special to make it happen, just as he was named Thane of Cawdor without trying to acquire the title.  Now, however, Macbeth suggests that if he wants to become king, he is going to have to find a way to do it without being named Duncan's heir.  He must either "fall down" at this step, in other words, he must give up, or he must "o'erleap" this setback and jump over it to claim the crown for his own.  This sounds very much like free will.

In act 3, scene 2, when Hecate chastises the Weird Sisters for meddling with Macbeth without her, she tells them how to make it up to her.  She wants them to meet her at the Acheron, where, she says, "[Macbeth] / Will come to know...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 893 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now






check Approved by eNotes Editorial

mwestwood eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2006

write16,150 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

















Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial