Critical Lens

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Farren Rapp 12/29/12
English Critical Lens Essay Ms. Fischer

As Herodotus once said, “…men are the mercy of events and cannot control them.” In other words, men cannot control fate, and they are forced to endure the situations that come their way. In both the plays Macbeth and Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare, the characters, however, the characters determine their outcome by the actions they take, and it is by their own decision that they lead themselves to demise. In both plays the quote is established through conflict with ones self, others and foreshadowing.

In Macbeth, Macbeth morphs from an iconic and respected war hero, but by his own doing, becomes a tragic character. His narcissistic and cruel actions turned him into a hated man. Most importantly, Macbeth faced a conflict within himself. As Thane of Glamus, and crowned Thane of Cowdar by King Duncan, he’s loved and honored. However, that power and position he sustained, soon became too meager for Macbeth. Once the Witches prophesized his kingship, he was hungry for more. However, Macbeth wasn’t sure that title was worth him taking the life of King Duncan, a man who loved him and cherished him like family. Macbeth could have changed the outcome, and sacrificed being number one by being content with the titles he already had, but greed overcame him. By killing Duncan for the crown, he by his own doing set himself for his demise. Macbeth also faces conflict with others in the play. His vicious wife, Lady Macbeth, wants nothing more than to become queen. She will do anything to have her husband kill the King, whether it be demeaning his manhood, questioning her love for him, or even a begging a higher power to give her the ruthless qualities of a man to empower her to be able to go through with her plan. Macbeth constantly questioned to morality of what he was planning, and the external force of his wife pressuring him and beguiling him into doing so made almost...
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