Fate vs. Free Will Julius Caesar

Topics: Julius Caesar, Roman Republic, Free will Pages: 2 (838 words) Published: April 10, 2007
In the play Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare there are two forces at work fate and freewill and throughout the play they are both fighting for control over man. Fate was shown in the many prophecies and omens that the characters viewed throughout the entire play. Free will as defined in the play is the ability to overcome fate. Although in the end all three of the characters succumbed to their fate, Shakespeare shows again that there is a delicate balance between fate and human free will.

Of the three main characters in the play Julius Caesar, Cassius and Brutus, Caesar's fate was the most obvious to him and to the readers. Caesar though in many cases used free will to ignore fate or destiny. For example in the begging of the play a soothsayer says," beware the ides of March" (I.i.23). Caesar exercises his free will by choosing to ignore this man. Then later during the ides of March, Caesar again sees the soothsayer and says, "The ides of March have come" (III.I.1). Caesar was confident that he had nothing to worry about. Also, later on that day Caesar almost made the decision that would heed the omen of his fate presented to Calphurnia in her dream. But because of Caesar being full of pride he presented the dream to Brutus who gave an alternate way to interpret that dream. Caesar uses Brutus' interpretation of the dream that way he would not appear afraid in front of the senate. Even when Caesar was on his way to the senate he had the opportunity to see the exact plan for his death. But again because of his pride and patriotism he ended up just saying, "What touches us our self 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.

Up to the end of the play Cassius was very aware of his fate and tried hard to overcome it. Cassius acted this way because he followed the Epicurean Philosophy. Epicurean...
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