Fate Vs. Free Will In Julius Caesar

926 words - 4 pages

In William Shakespeare’s play, Julius Caesar, two interesting forces, fate and free will, are shown competing for prominence over the other. Fate was exemplified in the many prophecies and omens the characters viewed throughout the play. Free will was the characters abilities to overcome and defeat their fate. Many characters have struggles with the power of their free will overcoming their fate, namely Caesar, Cassius, and Brutus. Although in the end all three of those characters succumb to their fate, Shakespeare shows that there is a delicate equilibrium between the two forces.

     Of the three men, Caesar’s fate seemed most obvious to him and to the reader. However, Caesar used his free will in many instances to in large part ignore his destiny, which fate has presented. On one occasion in the beginning of the play, a soothsayer warns Caesar to “Beware the ides of March” (I. i. 23). Caesar pays more attention to the appearance of the soothsayer then to the warning; and, finding the appearance not to his liking, Caesar ignores the warning and passes him off as a dreamer. Later, on the Ides of March, he confronts the soothsayer, and says that “the ides of March have come” (III. i. 1). Caesar was confident that the soothsayer was wrong that he did not even consider what the rest of the day had in store for him. Earlier that day, Caesar had almost made a choice to heed the omen of his fate presented to Calphurnia in her dream. However, his pride presented itself as Decius Brutus gave him an alternate way to interpret the dream. Instead of viewing it correctly as Calphurnia had shown him, he used the lame explanation provided by Decius so that he would not appear afraid before the Senate. Even on the trip to the Senate, he had an opportunity to see the exact plan for his death. But his patriotism, or possibly his false humility, propelled him to say “What touches us ourself shall be last served” (III. i. 8). Through all of these times where his free will could have helped Caesar avoid his fate, he instead chose to ignore them, ultimately leading to his downfall.

     Cassius, up to the end of the play, was very aware of his fate and took the largest strides to overcome that. This is due to the fact that Cassius followed the Epicurean philosophy, which believes that the gods do not involve themselves directly in the fate of man. This belief was highlighted when he told Brutus “Men at some time are masters of their fates: the fault, dear Brutus, is not in our starts, but in ourselves, that we are underlings” (I. ii. 139-141). Because of this belief, he...

Find Another Essay On Fate vs. Free Will in Julius Caesar

Fate vs Free Will Essay

754 words - 4 pages In Oedipus Rex by Sophocles, Oedipus is responsible for the tragedy of his downfall. Fate and free will are two opposing ideas that Sophocles seems to blend together and brings up an interesting argument. Sophocles ultimately leaves it up to the reader of the play to view and decide the truth though. Oedipus is presented with a series of choices throughout the play, his stubborn nature and arrogance push him to act without thinking and

Hamlet: Fate vs Free Will Essay

1255 words - 5 pages finally accepted the role Fate plays in the lives of mankind, Hamlet could proceed to “accept the necessity of killing Claudius…[because] he would simply be acting as the instrument of divine justice at work in the world.” (Ahlman) The discussion of free will versus fate will last through time as no one knows nor will know the actual answer to the question. However, in almost every literary situation, whenever man attempts to avoid fate, a chain of

Oedipus: Fate vs. Free will

1287 words - 5 pages When establishing whether it was fate or free will that determined the outcome of Oedipus’ life we must take in to consideration each side. Some people can say that he brought all of his suffering on himself but then again some people can say that it was his destiny that bad things were to happen to him. First we will look at fate. The definition of fate is a force or power that predetermines events or an inevitable events predestined by

fate vs free will essay

674 words - 3 pages decisions. Fate did not make the choices for Romeo or Juliet, and fate has never “made” choices for anyone. Fate did not drive the knife into Juliet's heart or force Romeo to drink the poison. The deaths were caused by free will and it alone All of this could have been prevented if those around Romeo and Juliet, such as Capulet, had made separate choices and also Romeo and Juliet themselves, had made different choices. If Romeo and Mercutio

Oedipus the King: Fate Vs Free Will

635 words - 3 pages Oedipus the King, was written by Sophocles between C.A.496-406B.C. In this play, Oedipus is a great example of Sophocles’ belief that fate will control a man’s life no matter how much free will exists. Oedipus is a man of unflagging determination and perseverance, but one who must learn through the working out of a terrible prophecy that there are forces beyond any man’s conceptualization or control. Oedipus’ actions were determined before his

Fate or Free Will

1841 words - 8 pages Through the literary works covered thus far, it has become evident, according to William Shakespeare’s The Tragedy of Julius Caesar that “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves.” Through the outcomes presented to the characters of Romeo, Atticus, and Tillie, it is evident that the experiences such characters undergo are the result of their free will. The first suggestion of Romeo’s free will appears on page 109

Fate Versus Free Will

2406 words - 10 pages already. However, there is an opposing issue that surrounds this dilemma of pre-determines fate, and that is the issue of free will. I believe that to have free will means that we have the control and power to make choices in our lives. Therefore, if we believe that the fate of this child was pre-determined then we would have to believe that we have no control or powers in our lives. I do not believe that people have children knowing that their

Fate and Free Will

1005 words - 5 pages even, would it mean that I am destined to remain a perpetual student because I will never find my calling (like Trofimov from the Cherry Orchard)? I’d rather think that with hard work, I can pick my destiny. It is human nature to want to have control and with a predetermined fate, this isn’t possible. Free will can be more scary than fate in some instances. Unlike fate, free will can easily be taken away. Teenagers in particular have a strong

Fate Versus Free Will

1787 words - 7 pages Fate Versus Free Will Fate, as described in the Oxford English Dictionary, is “The principle, power, or agency by which, according to certain philosophical and popular systems of belief, all events, or some events in particular, are unalterably predetermined from eternity.” To the western world, fate is perceived as “a sentence or doom of the gods” (Oxford). They often sought prophecies of the gods, especially from Apollo, the god of

Fate Versus Free Will

525 words - 2 pages matter how many times a specific character tries to deter fate and purge the situation at hand, the character constantly fails. Teiresias, the oracle, knows the end of all fate. He knows that fate controls every minute of an individual?s life. Sophocles probably had a strong belief in pre-destination because this is a perfect demonstration of the inescapable from birth. This story is one that is held together by the fact that fate is more determining than anyone?s free will. Everything that happens is somehow meant to be and nobody can modify the eventual outcome. Sophocles seems to suggest that only through suffering can man acquire knowledge.

Fate or Free Will

699 words - 3 pages The first script play that we’ve discussed is Oedipus Rex. Each classmates expressed their opinion about one of the three characters, Oedipus, Jocasta, and Creon, and how their action are either fated and free will. My opinion about fate and free will is solely based on Oedipus. However, his fate was in King Laius and Jocasta’s hands and they had a chance to change it. The prophecy is based on action throughout the person’s life and will affect

Similar Essays

Fate Vs Free Will In Julius Caesar

911 words - 4 pages The hubris of rich, powerful, or politically connected men creates a false sense of security that often leads to their fate being a horrific downfall. Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare exposes the conflicting ideas that exist between fate and free will by showing the relationship between Caesar, Brutus, and their wives, and how the decisions Cassius makes effect his fate. Conflicting ideas existed between the spouses and as well as the

Fate Vs. Free Will Essay

1483 words - 6 pages fate. They may change things in your life that affect you at the moment, but they do not matter. Understanding the difference between fate and free will is the key to grasping how they react with one another. In the story of Oedipus it was clear that these two concepts were both shown throughout the story. Oedipus’s destiny of killing his father, marrying his mother, and blinding himself was completed by the conclusion of the story. The decision

Fate Vs. Free Will Essay

1098 words - 5 pages which decision you make is already predetermined. If I decide to punch a man in the face the reaction of this man is out of my hands, yes, but it is not determined by fate, it is determined by how that man decides to react with his free will. In a way fate may exist, but not in the sense that all of our lives are already predetermined by a being who has basically made all of our decisions for us. It would exist in the sense that for every action

Fate Vs. Free Will Essay

813 words - 4 pages , and each one is individually preventable. Some of the events could be considered fate on the premise of a chain reaction, however for my purposes I will say that had they not made the choice that had started the chain reaction it would not have happened. Therefore, it is still based upon free will. One of the most obvious examples of free will in Romeo and Juliet is when Romeo makes the choice to go to the Capulet party despite the fact that his