In the end God ultimately decides ones fate, but one can influence His choice throughout their life. The play Macbeth by William Shakespeare, as well as the books The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli, Divine Comedy by Dante, and Oresteia by Aeschylus all talk about justice and fate. These stories show how even though God will decide what happens to someone at the end, the actions one does is how God bases his decision. One’s fate is determined based on what God and the law think is just. Human beings have free will and know what is right and wrong. Depending on what ones actions are they will have a good or a bad fate. Changing your ways to better fulfill Gods will is something that humans can do at any time. While it is true that God will determine what happens to people and what their final fate is, human beings do have control over their fate.
In the play Macbeth, Macbeth hears a prophecy from the three witches telling him he will be king. After hearing the prophecy Macbeth said, [Aside] “If chance will have me king, why, chance may crown me, Without my stir,” (1.4.146). At first Macbeth was planning on just waiting until he was crowned king by chance, he was not going to intervene at all. This shows how humans have control over their fate. He could have just waited until he naturally became king which would have made God happier. Later in the play though, Macbeth hears news that Malcolm has been crowned the Prince of Cumberland. After hearing this Macbeth says, “[Aside] The Prince of Cumberland! that is a step On which I must fall down, or else o'erleap, For in my way it lies. Stars, hide your fires; Let not light see my black and deep desires: The eye wink at the hand; yet let that be, Which the eye fears, when it is done, to see” (1.5.49). After hearing that news Macbeth and his wife ended up killing the king themselves instead. Macbeth ends up being king but at the end of the play is killed by Macduff. Macbeth’s fate was entirely his own fault. He chose his actions and so he had to pay for it. Even though the witches were the ones who put the idea in his head he could have easily just waited until Duncan made him king, or figure that if it’s meant to be it’s meant to be. God has a plan for everyone. Deviating from that plan is how one ends up with a bad outcome. It may be Macbeths fate to be king, but he decides all on his own that he will murder Duncan in order to obtain the crown. This shows that humans choose how they will reach their fate.
The other part of the witches’ prophecy was that Banquos’ heirs will sit on the throne. Banquos character is meant to portray the opposite of Macbeth. Unlike Macbeth, he did not act on the prophecy. This is why his character was viewed differently than Macbeths. While it is not known if Banquos’ heirs will ever be king, it is possible it will happen. By Banquo choosing not to react to the prophecy he shows how the actions in one’s life decide their fate. Even though the witches were right that...