Fate in Macbeth, Julius Caesar and Hamlet
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Shakespeare utilizes the supernatural and fate to pave the destiny of some of his characters in his tragedies. Macbeth, Julius Caesar, and Hamlet appear to have a common novel theme of fate, betrayal to supremacy, and the struggle to restore providential power. Shakespeare uses rhetoric to effectively convey the idea of fate and the struggle against it. In all three of these Shakespearian tragedies characters encounter the emotion of disbelief and the struggle to seek refuge from fate and to ultimately live life as if it were their free will. In Macbeth and Hamlet, Shakespeare appears to use apparitions early in the play to effectively establish mysteriousness of the paths of these characters. By using apparitions Shakespeare clearly makes a distinction of the supernatural and reality. In these moments of these confrontations Shakespeare successfully establishes Hamlet and Macbeth’s mortality and their inevitability to succumbing to their fate. But were Hamlet and Macbeth actually doomed right away or were they in a situation where poor choices caused their downfall?
H.B. Charlton thinks that Hamlet being that type of man he is, fails to kill Claudius right after King Hamlet has been murdered causing him to succumb to his fate (83). Also Julius Caesar and Duncan’s ghost appear in their plays. In each of these tragedies the main character has one emotion when he encounters fate, disbelief. Disbelief in the potential of the fore warnings and foreshadowing of his fate. And disbelief when fate has ultimately become reality. There is probably no better example of this in Shakespearian work than Cassius’s comment to Brutus,“Men at sometime were masters of their fates. The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, But in ourselves, that we are underlings” (I.ii.140–142).”