Thursday, February 20, 2014
When they hurley-burley's done; when the battle's lost, and won.
MacBeth, scene i, act I.
There is no better meditation on questions having to do with predestination, destiny, karma, or how we choose our futures than Shakespeare's play.
It's obvious from the start that the three witches, a diabolical version of the three fates of the ancient Greek legend, know exactly what will happen to MacBeth every step of the way. The question is whether or not MacBeth chooses his sad fate.
If the witches have supernatural power, if they're the agents causing MacBeth to make destructive choices, then he's actually not choosing at all. But it's not at all clear that this is the case, and in fact it's just as likely that the witches only see the future, and know what choices MacBeth will take.
And of course, every reckless and destructive choice has consequences.