What does Hecate say that suggests Macbeth has free will and what does she say to suggest he is controlled by fate in Macbeth?

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litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Hecate does scold the witches for interfering with Macbeth in matters of death.  This suggests that they did affect his behavior.

How did you dare

To trade and traffic with Macbeth

In riddles and affairs of death; (Act 3, Scene 5)

Macbeth apparently was influenced, at least partly, by the sisters—toward murder.

Hecate seems to imply that Macbeth has free will when she describes him as a “wayward son.”

And, which is worse, all you have done(10)

Hath been but for a wayward son,

Spiteful and wrathful: who, as others do,

Loves for his own ends, not for you. (Act 3, Scene 5)

A wayward son is someone who does not do what is expected of him.  This suggests that Macbeth did not do what the Weird Sisters expected him to do.

Hecate goes on to suggest that she is going to take over, and royally mess with Macbeth.  She has big plans to use illusion to “draw him on to his confusion.”  Whatever has been his idea, and whatever has been suggested by the others, she plans to get involved.  She will give him visions that will confuse him and make him overconfident.