Jeremy, Peyton, and Chris
Hi, my name is Chris, here with Peyton and Jeremy. We are students at the Grove City Christian School. Today we are here to talk about the theory of predestination, and what role it plays in the 16th century Shakespearean play, “Macbeth”.
You may be asking, “what is predestination?” Predestination is the theory that your ultimate destiny is already decided by a higher power. Such as, we are robots and all of our actions are not of free will, but things that are
already known to happen.
In Macbeth, fate plays a major role. Macbeth was a man who was corrupted by his wife, but also eventual greed as well. This is a terrible fate that had occurred, but we have to wonder… was this all already known to happen beforehand, every single action, thought, or behavior of Macbeth, or anyone in the story for that matter, by a greater source?
To understand this, we have to look deeper into Macbeth. In Macbeth’s soliloquy about his wife, he compares life to an understudy in a play. The outcomes of plays are predetermined by the writer. This is minor, but it raises some suspicion to us. Could it be a hint dropped by Shakespeare? Or just a coincidence?
By the theory, the destinies of all lives are predetermined by a higher power, like god predestination was made obvious through the majority of the soliloquy that are made throughout the entire play. The plot to kill the king was made apparent, that it was what the story would be about, within the first act of the play. Macbeth and his wife talked about him wanting the role of king and the only way to do this would be to kill him and take the throne.
The witches in MacBeth are another key element to this theory. The 3 witches in the play are able to tell the future to people, whether vague or some serious and clear detail. We know for a fact they know the future of all characters. This leads us to believe that the higher power (Or in this case, powers) is in the hands of the witches. Also, in the first scene, the witches say they will come back to find Macbeth. This shows that they will eventually be back. This shows that there is predestination as well as a slight bit of foreshadowing and the fact that perhaps in the middle, end, or even back in the beginning, the witches will be back.
When Macbeth was told he would become king, at the time he had no idea of what he was to do in order to receive that position. But the witches had to have known. There were many details they had kept from Macbeth, and even Banquo. Perhaps the witches knew Banquo wouldn't be king because they knew he would be killed before he would ever be able to do this.
Predestination is a real thing in Macbeth but may not be in real life. It depends on what you believe. As christians, we believe God knows the end of everything, when and how. The question in predestination is are we being controlled, all of our thoughts and actions, like our lives on rails, or do we actually have free will, and God knows the end. But this theory So now the question is: Is predestination part our lives today, did God make a fate for us all before hand?
On the other side of the argument, some believe Predestination is not a real thing in Macbeth. You could say that the witches knew a possible future but did not control Macbeth, and he had free will. This doesn’t seem exactly right; however, because through Macbeth's own decisions, after he was told he was going to become King he ultimately lead himself to his own demise because of what the witches told him.
When it comes to Predestination in real life many do argue that we have free will. When it comes to Prophecies they are always fulfilled this could be an example of predestination. For example in Daniel, when Daniel said that the messiah is coming, 400 years later he did. Jesus came and he was everything prophesied before.
Shakespeare, William. The Tragedy of Macbeth. Leicester, United Kingdom: Sweet Cherry, 2013. Print.
"BibleGateway." BibleGateway.com: A Searchable Online Bible in over 150 Versions and 50 Languages. Bible Gateway, n.d. Web. 17 Mar. 2017. <https://www.biblegateway.com/>.