After reading Shakespeare I'm never certain if I've understood it correctly.

An example is the Dear Brutus speech in Julius Caesar.

Cassius: Why, man, he doth bestride the narrow world
Like a Colossus, and we petty men
Walk under his huge legs and peep about
To find ourselves dishonourable graves.
Men at some time are masters of their fates:
The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,
But in ourselves, that we are underlings.
Brutus and Caesar: what should be in that 'Caesar'?
Why should that name be sounded more than yours?

I think I get what Cassius is saying. Caesar is just an ordinary person. He wasn't great by destiny. And Brutus would make just as good a leader as him. But is the speech ironic? Don't the events of the play prove him to be wrong, and that Brutus is not the master of his fate?

In the very same scene, a soothsayer warns Caesar to "beware the ides of March" which Caesar dismisses. The prophecy comes true. Is Cassius making the same error?

I have heard many people say "The fault is not in our stars" when they wish to belittle astrology. Are they shooting themselves in the foot, by quoting a speech that turned out to be wrong?


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