Monday, November 7, 2016

Fate and Destiny and Julius Caesar

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url.jpgWhen I was doing my research, I came across a famous quote on twitter that really made me think about one of my classes at BYU. In my British Literary History class last semester, my teacher Professor Siegfried stressed a lot about the idea of fate v. destiny in early British literature and how many authors like to reflect this thought in their works. As I read the play, Julius Caesar I saw that not only was this principle of fate v. destiny a prominent point in the play, but it may be exactly why Shakespeare wrote this work.

Since I was inspired to write about this topic from my professor I am going to meet with her on Wednesday (we couldn’t find a time earlier) to discuss this principle and how it relates to Shakespeare. Looking at past notes from my class I realize that this idea of fate v. destiny is a huge theological point, which makes it interesting because Shakespeare lived in a Christian world while the play is set in pagan Rome, so there seems to be something that Shakespeare is saying about religion itself. From an article that I read it really talks about how Caesar himself is kind of the embodiment of the idea of fate. And the more I think about it, Brutus seems to embody the idea of destiny. So overall, I want to do a topic of how Caesar embodies fate while Brutus represents destiny. I really had a hard time picking a topic, everything just seemed like it wasn’t a good idea, but after discussing on slack, some of my peers encouraged this idea and it makes me want to go forward, even giving me more resources on the topic.


  1. I really like the ideas. I know that as I've been reading these plays I've noticed lots of characters who rely on fate, or give in to fate. And discussing how fate and destiny are different could be very interesting. On Shakespeare online I found a compilation of Shakespeare's quotes on fate that you might find helpful!
    Also, I'm not sure your images came up (they didn't for me), so I might try to fix that on your blog post.

    1. I keep on trying to fix it and it is not working, even from multiple devices. I do not know what to do...But thanks for the source!

  2. This sounds so interesting! I really, honestly would enjoy reading this paper. The theological significance of these two embodiments of fate and destiny has a lot to do with the conflict between Christian notions of agency and pagan ideas of interfering gods, who inflict their will on mortals. Which is the more prominent notion in Shakespeare? I'm not sure, but it's definitely fascinating stuff. What I find especially interesting is that in this article (, free will is opposed to both destiny and fate, which actually enable each other. Are Brutus and Caesar two halves of the same whole, or is it something else entirely? I'm not sure. I'm not sure that's what you were going for, but now I'm really excited about these possibilities.