Fate is my mistress

I heard the phrase by Cesare Borgia in the TV series Borgia - Faith and Fear. I think it means that the speaker is in control of his destiny or that he needn't fear any outcomes of his actions for his fate is always on his side. However, I can't seem to find any definitions on the Goggle search for this usage.

And apologies as I can't seem to call the entire dialogue. But Cesare says this after Cardinal Della Rovere asks him as to how he was so confident of the plans he was laying in action.


I've always interpreted the usage of mistress in that phrase to mean:

  1. A woman in a position of authority or control. (Oxford)

As for Fate: this concept is often anthropomorphised as feminine, and there have been many goddesses of Fate (and almost no gods).

So to my mind, the phrase Fate is my mistress would mean that:

Fate controls what will happen in my future, and I accept this.

  • Thanks for your answer. But doesn't the term mistress have a connotation of being submissive or under someone's authority? In that sense, the phrase would imply that fate is indeed a force that I could count on to be on my side irrespective of my actions - be they normal or outrageous? – Andy Semyonov Oct 16 '18 at 17:17
  • Indeed, in this sense I think the mistress that is fate is in charge of what happens to Borgia's life. I would not say she is a force that is on his side at all, but he accepts her whims. – John Go-Soco Oct 17 '18 at 6:18
  • Apologies for a belated reply. I was inactive on ELU for a long time. I have some disagreement with what you've suggested. In saying, Fate is my mistress, Cesare's intention is more of bending her to his will as opposed to what you've proposed, accepting her whims. I think one needs to watch the show to fully understand the nuance of the phrase. In any case, thanks for your answer. It's wonderful to debate metaphysical questions. :) – Andy Semyonov May 6 '19 at 6:37

Yes, there are several similar "mistress" phrases that one hears from time to time. They are usually open to liberal interpretation.

My interpretation is on the more literal side, meaning that:

Cesare Borgia, though not married to "fate", is suggesting (by contrast) that he opportunely flirts with it on the side (as with a mistress).



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