Macbeth: Fate or Free Will - Game Script


Background

The famous poet, playwright, director and purveyor of English theater, William Shakespeare, would like for you to audition for a role in "Macbeth!"

Shakespeare wants to make sure that you TRULY understand the deep themes of his play, so in order to get the part you need to participate in a discussion about Macbeth's violence and whether or not his actions were dictated by FATE or his own FREE WILL.

When a trio of witches predict Macbeth's takeover of the throne, Macbeth believes that their words are his FATE. However, he takes action to take over the throne! Can Macbeth's actions be blamed on the fate that the witches predict or are they merely a result of  his ambition and free will?

Characters

The Witches ("Sisters of Destiny") The evil representatives

The witches in the play represent Forces of Evil, which are the forces that violate political and social order and disrupt the Force of Nature. These forces represent the influence of fate on Macbeth.


Your Task

"Good is bad and bad is good" - this is the law that guides you. Your task is to challenge existing order - to violate morality and cause chaos. Your goal is to control human beings fates; Macbeth is just an instrument to achieve this.


Resources

Scene - 01

Lady Macbeth Macbeth's wife, the queen

Macbeth's wife and the partner to his actions and crimes. Encourages him to fulfill his political ambitions, even at the price of brutal murders. Whenever he hesitates, she encourages him to continue. Over time she undergoes dramatic change, the murders causes her to lose sanity and die.


Your Task

Lady Macbeth, you have no doubt: people are responsible for their Fate. The prophecy that the witches predicted marked the goal for Macbeth and for you: you were designated to be kings. You need to achieve this goal at any price without hesitation. This should be your choice.


Resources

Scene - 01

MacDuff A Scottish nobleman, a Thane

Macduff is one of Scotland's king nobleman. Macduff suspects that Macbeth murdered King Duncan. He leaves immediately to England in order to enlist the King Edward to remove Macbeth from governance and restore moral order to place.


Your Task

Macduff, it is quite clear to you, who is good and who is evil in this case.  Macbeth is a murderer and therefore must be removed from power. Humans and their actions determine Fate!


Resources

Scene - 01

Banquo Macbeth's friend and a general in the army of King Duncan

A nobleman and a commander in the King of Scotland army. Have the appropriate features to be a King: brave, intelligent, bold with self-confidence. The witches predict that he will not become a king, but will give birth to kings.

 

Unlike Macbeth that is easily tempted to believe the witches prophecy, Banquo resist the temptation ("Merciful powers,

Restrain in me the cursed thoughts that nature

Gives way to in repose!" (Act II, Scene One). He remained a moral to the end of play


Your Task

Banquo, you are a brave man and ambitious person. The witches predict that you will give birth to kings - but you're not tempted to believe this prophecy and choose to stay decent and ethical. You see Macbeth -and you are stunned by his brutality. You chose good, he chose evil.


Resources

Scene - 01

Lennox Scottish Thane

Lennox is one of the Scotland kings nobles. As Macduff, he also suspects that Macbeth is behind the murders in the kingdom. He is ready to fight Macbeth in order to restore good governance.


Your Task

Lennox, you are one of Scotland's noblemen and feel responsible for the kingdom's fate. This fate will be determined by people like you, and not by witches and evil forces. You are ready to fight and sacrifice yourself to remove Macbeth from power. You support the return of King Duncan regent to restore peace and morality to the Kingdom


Resources

Scene - 01

Scene 1: Fate or Free WIll?



1.

Public Message

Dear Directing Team

Before my beloved play "Macbeth"'s opening night, I need your help in designing Macbeth's character.

Do you think Macbeth's actions were dictated before he even did them, like the witches predicted in telling him his fate?

or

was he influenced by his own powerful desire for power, or free will?

Why?

Please share your thoughts with the rest of the class!

With the utmost gratitude,

William Shakespeare  



2.

Private (Shortly After previous message)

The Witches ("Sisters of Destiny"):
Dear Witches,

Macbeth is just a puppetand you pull the strings!
 
You control Macbeth's fate, and you decide what happens to him!
 
How fun is it to play with people's lives ...

Read your resources and share the reasons behind your magical powers!
Lady Macbeth:

My Lady,

You believe in fate: the witches are prophets of fate and they explicitly stated that Macbeth will be king and you'll be THE QUEEN!

Any little action you have to take is already a part of the grander plan of a romantic royal honeymoon when you and Macbeth take over! 

Please share your thoughts with the others. 

MacDuff:

MacDuff,

How can these fools be so swayed by phony promises of witchcraft?!
You do not believe in fate. You think that people are responsible for their actions. Macbeth and his wife have no moral limits and their sinful hands are red with blood!
They should be punished and you will do anything to make this happen...
Please share your thoughts with the others.

Banquo:

Banquo,

You do not believe in fate: Macbeth himself sent the killers. However, you are not going to give up that easily. Whenever Macbeth sits in his throne he will find your ghost...

You will remind him that he is responsible for his actions and not some ridiculous notion of "fate!"

Please share your thoughts with the others.

Lennox:

Lennox, 

You do not care of philosophical questions of fate and personal responsibility. You believe in the power! You will always join the most powerful side! 


Tell everyone what you think ...



3.

Public Message (Shortly After previous message)

Dear actors!

Read what the other characters wrote. Do you agree with them?

Incumbently and honorably yours,

Shakespeare.



4.

Private (a while after previous message)

The Witches ("Sisters of Destiny"):

Dear Witches,

Read what Macduff wrote. Does it ruin the delicious pleasure of being in control of other people’s lives?

Share your thoughts with him.

Lady Macbeth:

Lady Macbeth,

Read Banquo’s statement - does it frighten you? Write back to him and try to change his mind.

MacDuff:

Dear Macduff,

Read Lennox's statement. Do you think he might be right? 

Share your opinion with him. 

Banquo:

Dear Banquo,

Read Lady Macbeth's statement.  Maybe her claims are just.  Write her back and share with her your opinion. 

Lennox:

Dear Lennox,

 Read what the Witches wrote. Do you agree?

 Write back to them to share your thoughts. 



5.

Public Message (a while after previous message)

The royal physician has announced that Lady Macbeth is sick (Act V, Scene One): She doesn't sleep at night, she is fearful of the dark, she repeatedly washes her hands, and we fear she might hurt herself!

Do you think her physiological response has anything to do with our discussion of fate and responsibility? Does it change your character's opinion? 

Share your thoughts!

Indubitably yours,

THE William Shakespeare



6.

Public Message (Shortly After previous message)

A new message has arrived!

Macduff just informed Macbeth that he was not "born of woman" but he was born through Caesarean section!

This means that Macbeth misunderstood the witches statement that "no born of woman" can beat him! Macbeth might not have rights to the throne after all!

Does this impact your opinion on the importance of fate vs. free will?



Vote

It's time to decide:

Are Macbeth's actions the result of free will

or 

a fate that he could not control?



Option 1
Macbeth acted out of free will
Option 2
Macbeth is the victim of fate


Ending message for when most people voted for option



Option 1

You think that Macbeth was acting out of free will


Option 2

You think that Macbeth is under the power of his destined fate




Discussion Points

1. If fate does exist, do we have responsibility for our lives?

2. “A man's character is his fate” (Heraclites, the Greek philosopher). Is this true for Macbeth and Lady Macbeth?