What are three major turning points of Napoleon Bonaparte's life?

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There are many different approaches one can take in answering this question.  One particular avenue is to discuss the role the French Revolution had on him.  The Revolution's course of action made Napoleon its conclusion.  The ability to seize power in a setting where there was no construction of it could be one turning point in his life where his political legacy was made into what it was.  Regardless of if one sees him as an individual who surreptitiously gained power or one who was the logical extension of the Revolution, this moment in time was a significant moment in Bonaparte's life.  Another turning point in Napoleon's life had to be the frustrations he experienced with trying to defeat England.  It seemed as if the presence of the British in the face of Napoleon's desire to eliminate them helped to bring a sense of imperfection to him and allowed a sense of thwarted desire to become evident, a theme that come to define Napoleon's reign.  Naturally, the failure at Waterloo has become regarded as proverbial, demonstrating a significant turning point in his life.