In the play "Macbeth" by William Shakespeare, it is very controversial whether or not Macbeth was doomed by fate or by a flaw in his character. It could be argued that Macbeth was doomed both by fate and by a flaw in his character. On one hand, the role of the witches influence could be regarded as a major external force that exploited Macbeth's character flaws. However, on the other hand, Macbeth's ambitious nature and greed for power was the flaw in his character that ultimately led to his downfall. In addition to this, overriding fate is the powerfully aggressive nature of Macbeth engendering his internal state of being from the start of the play. This is not in itself a character flaw but does galvanize Macbeths murderous actions and thus asserts that at the core of this cautionary tale about ambition lays the issue of a combination between fate and erroneous traits. The extent to which Macbeths downfall is determined by fate or a flaw in his character will be discussed.
It could be argued that it was fate that lead Macbeth to his doom. The role of his chance meeting with the witches was instrumental in influencing Macbeth's decision making. On an eerie night, Macbeth was told three prophesies by the witches, "_All hail, Macbeth! Hail to thee, Thane of Glamis! All hail, Macbeth, hail to thee, Thane of Cawdor! All hail, Macbeth, thou shalt be king hereafter." Macbeth did not question the accuracy of the prophecies, which he believed were preordained because in Elizabethan times, it was believed that witches could see into the future, kill their enemies and make themselves invisible. Everyone believed that the witches could see the future, and this led Macbeth to the idea of killing Duncan once he had listened to the prophecy that he would become King of Scotland. Macbeth thought, "If chance will have me king, why, chance may crown me without my stir." An interpretation of this quote according to Macbeth could be, if fate wanted him to be king, perhaps fate would just make it happen and he wouldn't have to do anything.