Fate In Plutarch's Works

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Parallel to objects that gleam brilliantly, stars are nothing more than a beacon; for man has the power to illuminate the road towards his own destiny. Fate does not shape one’s destiny, but rather one should strive to define their own fate. Plutarch, a Greek philosopher in Rome during the 2nd century A.D personifies the notion of fate and destiny with his tales about Julius Caesar in a historical document titled Lives of the Nobles:Julius Caesar. Likewise, William Shakespeare, an English poet, embodies the same overall ideal of fate and destiny, but with some minor altercations in his play, The Tragedy of Julius as it based upon Plutarch’s work. In both pieces of literature though, the account of Caesar’s rise to power is illustrated. Shakespeare …show more content…
Plutarch’s historical document demonstrates the theme of how one’s destiny is already predetermined by fate. For example, “Caesar… rose out of his chair, and commanded the crown to be carried unto Jupiter in the Capitol” (Plutarch line 31-34). By placing the crown, a symbol of power on a statue that is supposed to embody God, represents the belief that God is the sole and absolute ruler. Since God controls all, that would also signify that one’s destiny is locked in stone as God’s word/law is considered absolute. On the other hand, although Shakespeare’s The Tragedy of Julius Caesar encompasses the theme of fate and destiny, the underlying message that Shakespeare presents is different from that of Plutarch’s. For instance, “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves, that we are underlings” (Shakespeare Scene 2, line 140-141). From this, Cassius discloses that it was not the heavens that allowed Caesar to become king, rather it was the fault of people like them. Man controls his own fate and can carve his own path; people control more power than they realize