Monday, November 14, 2016

McKay's Annotated Bibliography (1)

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Overview: A lot of my paper is still rough but my main idea is that Shakespeare uses fate and destiny to give the differences of ethics and the difference in the characters.

Title: Julius Caesar and the Ethics of Fate v. Destiny

Thesis: Although many saw the assassination of Caesar as justifiable, Shakespeare portrays the ethics of Caesar’s assassination through the lenses of fate and destiny, casting doubt on the action.

Scholary Sources

Rice, Julian C. “Julius Caesar and the Judgment of the Senses.” Studies in English Literature, 1500-1900, vol. 13, no. 2, 1973, pp. 238–255. 14 Nov 2016.

Rice discusses how stoicism and Epicureanism prove to be inadequate as definitions of human capabilities in the lives of Brutus, Caesar, and Cassius. He also delves into the renaissance background and how it plays a role in the characters.

This is helpful because the article identifies some of the logic behind why people during the Roman Empire believed in fate and destiny.

“Julius Caesar.” Shakespeare for Students: Critical Interpretations of Shakespeare's Plays and Poetry, edited by Anne Marie Hacht, 2nd ed., vol. 2, Gale, 2007, pp. 333-367. Gale Virtual Reference Library, 14 Nov. 2016.

This article is an overview of rhetorical tools, summary, character list, and historical context. This article really emphasizes the idea of stoicism in the character of Brutus.

This goes really well with the idea of accepting your destiny unemotional and not doing anything but accepting your draw in life. This will also help build historical context and identifying some literary tools for my paper.

GRAY, PATRICK. “Caesar As Comic Antichrist: Shakespeare's Julius Caesar And The Medieval English Stage Tyrant.” Comparative Drama 50.1 (2016): 1-31. Academic Search Premier. Web. 14 Nov. 2016.

Gray compares and contrasts the Julius Caesar potrayed by Shakespeare with the Julius Caesar embodied in other contemporary plays in Shakespeare’s time. He suggests that the Caesar by Shakespeare is vastly different because Caesar is seen as a weak man, while by contemporaries in the time, Caesar was seen as dignified and noble.

This idea of Caesar being weak helps my article because it shows that Shakespeare was purposefully identifying the idea that the only way for Caesar to become Emperor is by fate.

McDonald, Russ. The Bedford Companion to Shakespeare. Bedford Books of St. Martin’s Press, 1996.

This book is an overview of historical context that played a factor in the way that Shakespeare thought of things that influenced his playwriting.

There is one chapter that will help my paper that focuses on the historical records that Shakespeare read, Latin mostly, that influenced his thought on the character of Julius Caesar. Specifically, McDonald includes a story of Julius Caesar that was published in Shakespeare’s time that he read and was used in his play.

Media Sources
Cuchapin, Kris. “Julius Caesar: Fate, Fortune and Supernatural.” N.p., 11 March 2014. Web. Accessed 01 Nov. 2016.

Kris Cuchapin makes an insightful comment that “fate and freedom maintain a delicate coexistence.” He asserts that certain things are left up to fate while other things the characters are free to choose.

This will help my paper as it gives an argument for both fate and destiny and how each character needed to find a balance in their decisions. The presentation reinforces the importance of fate and destiny.

Jabak, Omar. “Different Literary Approaches to the Concept of Fate.” N.p., 19 Aug. 2014. Web. Accessed 01 Nov. 2016.

Jabak discusses how throughout literary history there has been this idea of fate v destiny and how society has changed its meaning in different periods of time.

This adds literary historical context to my paper as well as additional insights on how to expound on the idea of fate v destiny. This will be a great article to add credibility to my ideas on fate and destiny.


  1. I'm just a little confused by your thesis statement. How do the lenses of fate and destiny change how we perceive the assassination? Like what kind of doubt? I haven't read that play but I'm genuinely interested in hearing how fate and destiny complicate the assassination!

  2. Maybe some sort of back up evidence as to why the fate and destiny cause doubt to come upon the assassination would make it a stronger thesis? Otherwise, it seems like you've found some strong sources. I like the one that mentions the supernatural!

  3. Garrett and Stella are right -- hope you can bring some clarity to your claim. Your sources have strong coherence and could really help you ground your claim. Consider including a section in which you introduce Roman philosophy (at least the part dealing with destiny/fate).