The Tragedy of Julius Caesar
Understanding Personality and Motives of Mark Antony (the Tragedy of Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare)
Mark Antony is an interesting person. At first, he just seems to be fearing for his life, then he acts friendly towards the conspirators. No one knows what to make of him. He seems to be on their side, but then he decides to praise Caesar. Antony talks about how great Caesar was, and how angry he’d be if he knew how Antony was betraying him by shaking the conspirators’ hands. By reading the story, I’ve learned about how multifaceted Mark Antony really is as a character. I’ve started to understand his personality and motives.
To begin, Antony started behaving strangely relative to who his character is. In Act 3, Scene 1, right after Caesar is assassinated, his servant speaks to Brutus for him. He says, “If Brutus will vouchsafe that Antony may safely come to him and be resolved how Caesar hath deserved to lie in death, Mark Antony shall not love Caesar dead so well as Brutus living, but will follow the fortunes and affairs of noble Brutus.” To paraphrase, Antony is saying that if he can go to Brutus safely and be convinced that Caesar deserved death, he will follow and peacefully comply with Brutus’s affairs. He seems to be accepting that he was on the wrong side of the conflict and is seemingly surrendering peacefully.
However, after talking to Brutus and Cassius, Antony shakes the conspirators’ hands, hands that are still literally covered in Caesar’s blood. He even acknowledges that they’ll think of him as either a flatterer or a coward for doing this. He gives a soliloquy, and in one part says “I did love thee, Caesar, O, ’tis true. If then thy spirit look upon us now, shall it not grieve thee dearer than thy death to see thy Antony making his peace. Shaking the bloody fingers of thy foes…” So after acknowledging that what he’s doing might seem strange, he shares his thoughts with the audience. Antony knows that Caesar would feel betrayed if his spirit was looking down upon them, but he seems to think that he’s making the best choice available to him.
However, looking back on Antony’s self admittedly zealous flattering, he seems to have an ulterior motive. He manages to convince Brutus and Cassius to let him give Caesar’s eulogy, despite Cassius being a worried about Antony turning the people against them. He starts the speech off with “Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears. I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him.” This is his way of saying that he is not going to try to stir up their emotions. However, his eulogy ends up being very good. He talks about how the evil that men create is often remembered after their death, while the good they create is often forgotten with their death. He moves people, causing them to riot and chase Brutus and Cassius out of the city. This makes Antony’s behavior before the eulogy seem to be a purposeful choice to flatter the conspirators and gain their permission to speak about Caesar. However, it is hard to tell because it is never stated outright by Antony.
To conclude, Marc Antony is a multifaceted character that blurs the traditional lines of good or bad. Instead, judgement of Antony’s character is left up to the personal interpretation of the reader. Shakespeare seems to like leaving certain aspects of a character’s actions or motives open. In general, he seems to like leaving certain aspects of the story to be open to debate. This seems to be one of the reasons why his works stand the test of time. The reader doesn’t always know everything, and sometimes even making inferences is a challenge. This is a lot like life in the sense that you don’t always know every intricate detail, and sometimes you don’t end up learning them at all. Antony is an important part of this uncertainty, and Shakespeare wrote him with just enough clarity to make the reader question how they interpret literature. Antony’s character teaches people to look beyond the obvious details and form their own interpretations of literature.
What Makes Brutus a Real Tragic Hero (the Tragedy of Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare)
What makes someone a hero? When looking at people, it’s easy to assume that heroes are a certain type of person, as if being heroic is an exclusive personality trait. However, a hero isn’t defined by their identity, they’re defined by their actions. Throughout several of Shakespeare’s plays, a tragic hero is identified; a heroic figure that possesses a personality flaw that ends up causing his own defeat. Within the Tragedy of Julius Caesar, who the true tragic hero really is. Many of us agree that Marcus Brutus is that the tragic hero. Once examining these two characters, a conclusion is vividly drawn. Julius Caesar is a tragic hero in this play. When someone possesses such heroic qualities and dies, it’s a real tragedy.
The main reason that Marcus Brutus deserves the title of tragic hero is his noble temperament. First of all, throughout the entire play, he never deceives anyone. Even though he did murder Julius Caesar, he was doing it for the benefit of Rome. Also, he did not show any signs of wanting to harm or deceive Caesar. Even when he did kill Caesar, Cassius didn’t seem shocked. Everything that he did was for the good of other people. Despite the fact that he killed Antony’s role model figure, Antonius still recognized Brutus as “the noblest Roman of all.” He proclaimed this in Act V, Scene V, after Caesar is assassinated. This is a result of Brutus, the sole criminal, that truly killed Caesar as a result of the fact that he wasn’t doing it for himself and was actually doing it because he cared for the people of Rome. He cared more about others than he did himself. For example, by killing Caesar he showed that, even though he liked Julius Caesar, he did what was right for the greater good of the Roman people. Even though there was a chance that the people would hate him for what he did, he took that chance because he knew it would benefit the commoners in the long run. Another example of his selflessness is in Act II, Scene i. Brutus decides to not tell Portia his plans for the murder of Caesar. He feels she already has enough stress in her life and doesn’t need to worry or overthink his plans.
Brutus oftentimes clearly shows several acts of affection towards others. In Act I, Scene ii, he’s reluctant to join in on Cassius’s conspiracy as a result of he didn’t wish to betray Caesar. In Act III, Scene ii, Brutus kills Caesar solely as a result of being apprehensive of what’s going to happen to Rome if Caesar remains ruler. He knew the roman’s lives would be difficult with the ruling of Caesar. Even though he is going to follow through with the conspiracy, he realizes what an honorable man Caesar was. This is shown within the same Act and Scene once Brutus permits Marcus Antonius to give a eulogy at Caesar’s ceremonial despite the fact that Cassius strongly disagreed. Brutus showed grief at Caesar’s ceremony by allowing Antony to speak since they were so close. Finally, he shows his kindness for others in Act V, Scene V. This is the scene where Brutus kills himself as a result of the whole conspiracy, and as a result of feeling guilty and partially responsible for the murder of Julius Caesar.
All tragic heroes possess a personality flaw that ends up in their defeat. Brutus’ fatal and tragic flaw was being naive. He thought that everything was good within the world, that all men were honorable and bound to their word. He believed all that people told him and felt that nobody would lie or deceive him. simply because he didn’t betray anyone. This characteristic led him to his death. Brutus had people that deceived him at one time or another throughout the play. He gives others like Cassius and Antonius too many opportunities to betray him. He’s too trusting and doesn’t notice what some people are capable of doing to him once he makes them his friend. Greed led to a downfall of Brutus before long. The events that occurred as a result of Brutus’ quality led to his downfall and death. His initial mistake was in Act II, Scene i. This was when the fake letters sent by Cassius to him were received. This was all a trap to get Brutus to join in on the conspiracy. For Cassius knew he couldn’t do this without Brutus’s support. Brutus believes these letters are from the commoners of Rome and eventually Brutus agrees to the assassination of Caesar. Another example of this quality is in Act III, Scene II. Brutus decides to permit Antonius to speak at Caesar’s funeral to show honor to Caesar. In the end, this call ruins him. Antonius rawls up the crowd into believing that the conspirators or all evil and that the people of rome should get revenge. In result, a war breaks out. In Act V, Scene II Brutus made a mistake. Brutus made a mistake when he started the battle without telling Cassius about it. Brutus realizes it’s time to strike and understands that he should begin the battle. He believes that there is no time to inform Cassius. This was the biggest reason for him committing suicide. He kills himself after determining that it’s more noble to kill himself than to be captured and dragged through Rome.
With all of Brutus’s characteristics, he’s clearly the tragic hero of this play. Throughout this drama, he demonstrates the standard of honor again and again. He’s a noble man and that’s something Antonius sums up well in his last half of the play. In the end, Brutus is defeated as a result of his fatal flaw. He was naive and didn’t know the true feelings or intent of the people that he blindly trusted. Marcus Brutus is the real tragic hero of Shakespeare’s The Tragedy of Julius Caesar, and this title needs no argument.
Julius Caesar. Plot, Theme, Major Characters, Structure, and Personal Opinion on Shakespeare’s Tragedy
The Tragedy of Julius Caesar
Throughout the course of the play, The Tragedy of Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare, the assassination of General Julius Caesar and the ensuing power struggle over Rome occurs. The tale begins when two elected officials, Flavius and Murellus, scold the commoners for their lack of loyalty. The plebeians are celebrating Pompey’s defeat in battle against Caesar, though they had just recently commemorated his many triumphs in combat. In an act to discourage this unfaithfulness, the officials force the commoners to cease their commemoration and then strip the crowns off of Caesar’s statues. By limiting the amount of support Caesar attains, the tribunes assume that this will also restrict the amount of power he acquires.
Soon after, Caesar and his retinue appear as his friend Antony prepares to sprint the ceremonial victory run through town. As the group pauses to converse, a Soothsayer warns Caesar about the perils that await him on the fifteenth of March, but he disregards this comment and leads the entourage elsewhere. After only Cassius and Brutus remain, the two senators voice their concerns on Caesar’s rise to power. Cassius believes that he is not their superior and thus should not be the king, though Brutus’s main concern is Rome’s disintegrating democracy. Without delay, Caesar and his escorts return to the area, where Caesar expresses his fear to Antony that Cassius may become dangerous. The mob again departs, so that Casca is able to recount to Brutus and Cassius the events that they had missed. Casca reports that Caesar was offered a crown three times, though he had refused it each time it was provided. Also, despite the fact that Caesar had suffered from a seizure during this time, he was still able to strip Flavius and Murellus of their power as a punishment for their unruly behavior. Casca and Brutus then vacate the premises, which allows Cassius to be unaccompanied as he review his plans to manipulate Brutus. He aims to leave forged letters for Brutus that encourage him to rise to power, overthrowing Caesar in the process.
In the next scene, two Roman senators named Casca and Cicero note the strange phenomena that have occurred lately, which hint at future danger. After Cicero departs, Cassius soon joins Casca, allowing Casca to tell of the senate’s plan to make Caesar King of the Senate the next day. Once Cinna arrives, Cassius then tells of his scheme to murder Caesar and delves into the details. Afterwards, he instructs Cinna to leave the forged letters for Brutus at various locations as a part of this plan.
Later on, Brutus is seen pacing alone in his home garden as he reviews the situation. Though Caesar is his friend, Brutus believes that he will eventually become corrupted by his power, and he must die before this occurs. His resolve is only strengthened by the spurious letters he receives, so that he is certain that he must take action against Caesar. Immediately afterwards, Cassius and the other conspirators enter Brutus’s house, where the men discuss which tactic to use to achieve their goal. Brutus rebuffs the idea of killing Antony along with Caesar, since he supposes that he is not a threat to them.
The next day, Caesar agrees to remain at his home after his wife Calpurnia begs for him to, since she had foreseen his death in her dreams. One of the conspirators, Decius, persuades Caesar into traveling to the senate. He soon leaves his mansion with Antony, Brutus, and the other accomplices surrounding him. Meanwhile, a man named Artemidorus waits on the street for the Caesar, so that he can deliver a letter notifying him of his impending doom. However, his attempt to save Caesar fails when he ignores Artemidorus’ warning and enters the Senate, where the conspirators successfully kill him.
During the same instant as his comrade’s death, Antony flees. However, once his safety is assured, he soon returns to mourn for his fallen companion. The conspirators eventually allow him to deliver a speech at Caesar’s funeral, though Cassius frets that he will turn the plebeians against them. As soon as the men vacate the premises, Antony swears to the heavens that he will avenge his fallen friend. After the ceremony commences, Brutus explains the necessity of Caesar’s death, so that the crowd comes to believe that he deserves to have Caesar’s power. Thus satisfied, he announces to the Romans that he has authorized Caesar’s friend to speak, out of his generosity. However, Antony’s exceptional speech portrays Caesar as a kind and loving person, which turns the masses against the conspirators. Brutus and Cassius flee from Rome, and Caesar’s adopted son Octavius travels to his father’s house. While this is occurring, the mob confuses Cinna the poet with Cinna the conspirator, and they instantly lynch him.
In a prompt fashion, Antony, Lepidus, and Octavius construct an army to meet Cassius and Brutus’ military force. One night while Brutus is reading, he is disturbed by Caesar’s ghost, who informs him of his impending death on the battlefield. During the next day, the armies face each other in Philippi, though the leaders meet to insult each other first. Afterwards, Cassius speaks to Brutus about the atrocious omens that they have seen recently, and they concur that they would rather die than return to Rome as captives. The men then leave to their separate armies, where the battle soon ensues. Later on, when Cassius instructs his friend Titinius to investigate the state of Brutus’s army, his comrade is soon seen surrounded by believed-to-be enemy soldiers. Since Cassius has caused this to occur, his guilt induces him to commit suicide with the very sword that had previously aided in Caesar’s death. When Titinius discovers Cassius’ body, he also kills himself in response. Afterwards, Brutus finds the corpses of his friends but continues to brawl singlehandedly, because both sides of the fight have gained and lost land during the battle.
Eventually, Antony’s army wins the war, so that Brutus and his military force are required to flee. As a response to once again seeing Caesar’s ghost, Brutus urges his soldiers to leave without him and commits suicide. When Antony, Octavius, Messala, and Lucillius notice Brutus’s body, they declare that he was the noblest man in Rome, for he acted out of his concern for the democracy, instead of jealousy. The men decide to bury his body in a noble fashion and to allow his soldiers into their army. Once the details are agreed upon, the men go off to celebrate their victory.
While evaluating the play, Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare, the flaws of nobility appears to be one of the major themes. The protagonist, Brutus, is meant to symbolize this main idea, for he truly acts based on the common good instead of his personal discrepancies. In the beginning of the story, Cassius manipulates him into joining his scheme by using his noble nature against himself. Once Brutus is convinced that Caesar must die to preserve the Roman democracy, he fully commits himself to what he calls an honorable cause. This displays one of the flaws of nobility, that once a dignified person is committed to a cause, they are unwavering, despite any contradictory information. Towards the end of the play, Brutus accepts his death and commits suicide in a calm fashion after he notices Caesar’s ghost. This can be viewed as a foolish act because of his willingness to give up his life, based on his interpretation of a phantom’s appearance. Through this evidence, one can understand that the flaws of nobility is a reoccurring subject throughout the play.
Furthermore, the fickleness of the crowds is another topic that is present throughout the story. In the beginning of the composition, Flavius and Murellus become outraged with the commoners for their disloyalty. This is because the plebeians were celebrating Pompey’s defeat, even though they had previously celebrated his victories. Since the crowd is easily influenced by Caesar to view Pompey as an enemy, their unfaithfulness and inconsistency becomes evident. Moreover, after Caesar’s murder, Brutus’s words persuades the crowd to view Caesar as a greedy aspiring king. Moments later, Antony coaxes the masses into regarding Caesar’s death as an atrocity against a kind soul. Throughout these events, the commoners display very little loyalty for any one person, and is easily persuaded to completely change their beliefs based on the skill of the speaker. These recurring actions display the major themes, the lack of loyalty the crowd has for any one person, as well as the flaws of nobility.
Brutus- The tragic hero of the play, Brutus’ noble nature and honor eventually leads to his downfall. Brutus fails to question the motives of his fellow conspirators, and in truly believing that the letters represented the whole of Rome’s opinion, threw himself wholeheartedly into the cause. Though he has truly pure motives for his actions, by underestimating Antony and the crowd’s fickleness, Brutus is forced into a bloody battle that he had hoped to avoid. Instead of fleeing from his fate, he killed himself in a composed fashion, and though this action preserved his honor, he could have tried other methods to save himself. By sacrificing his life for respect and nobility, this ultimately leads to Brutus’s doom.
Julius Caesar- The man that this play is named after, General Julius Caesar, seems to be overconfident during his rise to power. Caesar even has the audacity to compare himself to the gods, and in believing he is immortal, fails to heed the warnings of many natural phenomena. He is knowledgeable in some regards, since he senses the danger Cassius could cause and is highly skilled in battle. Furthermore, Caesar does seem to genuinely care about the people of Rome, as is evident in his will. He also seems to care about his friends and family, and is heartbroken when Brutus participates in his assassination.
Antony- One of Caesar’s closest friends, Antony is able to act in the necessary manner for each situation. He appears to be the perfect politician, gaining the trust of the conspirators and the masses, though he only has a genuine interest in his own ambitions. Antony proves himself to be disloyal to most people, through his use of the commoner’s money for himself and insulting his comrades behind their backs.
Cassius- The man that first manipulates Brutus into believing that Caesar should die, Cassius mainly acts out of jealousy for Caesar’s power. Cassius does seem to care to an extent about the welfare of others, as is evident with his guilt over Titinius’ capture. Cassius’ suicide could be considered more of an impulsive act than one of guilt, since he acts in a frightened manner.
As one analyzes The Tragedy of Julius Caesar, by William Shakespeare, it becomes apparent that the author bases the play on many points of view. Throughout the story, different characters secretly reveal their true motives and feelings to the audience through soliloquies and monologues, thus creating dramatic irony and suspense. Though the audience knows that Cassius forges the letters, they are unable to inform Brutus, and are drawn into the play because of it. In addition, Shakespeare utilizes foreshadowing to create suspense, such as Calpurnia’s dream of Caesar’s demise. Again, the audience knows of Caesar’s death and feels the urge to warn him, but is unable to influence the events of the play. Furthermore, Shakespeare combines the conflicting topics of fate and free will throughout the story, thus giving the play more depth and significance. Though Brutus is informed of his death before his battle with Antony, one could argue that Brutus willingly chose to commit suicide. Though many natural phenomena warned of Caesar’s impending death, the general could have chosen to stay with Calpurnia and would have then avoided his demise. Through the use of monologues, soliloquies, foreshadowing, and clashing concepts, Shakespeare creates a play worthy of remembrance.
It is clear that while creating The Tragedy of Julius Caesar, Shakespeare expertly utilized meaningful characters and an historic event. Based on Caesar’s murder, the author artfully employs foreshadowing among other literary devices to create a tragic play. Calpurnia’s dream, Artemidorus’ letter, and other phenomena, further capture the audience’s attention. Moreover, by producing incredibly flawed characters, this creates an even more engaging story. Brutus could be considered the perfect example of this, because of his blindness to the evil motives of his friends and the fickleness of the masses in his attempts to act nobly. Since every character has a flaw, this only makes the story more realistic and entertaining as a result. Furthermore, Shakespeare devises a realistic ending based on the characters he establishes, which legitimizes the play. In hindsight, it is extremely unlikely that Brutus and Cassius would have won the war. If they had succeeded, though the audience may have had a more satisfied feeling, this would have sacrificed some of the play’s authenticity. In addition, Shakespeare’s play conveys many universal themes, which are just as useful in modern life as during his time. One is warned of the fickleness of the masses and the untrustworthy nature of politicians. The audience is also educated on the consequences of acting solely on honor and assuming a person is strong morally. Overall, Shakespeare’s play is well written, realistic, and conveys universal themes to the listening audience.
How William Shakespear uses the symbol of honor through Brutus in The Tragedy of Julius Caesar’
Arguement – The Tragedy of Julius Caesar
Honor is the mask that allows nobles to justify their actions. In the play, The Tragedy of Julius Caesar, by Shakespeare, the protagonist, Brutus, faces many decisions that questions his honor. Brutus is a trusted noble who shows he is the symbol of honor. Brutus and the conspirators assassinate Julius Caesar, causing the Romans to question whether Brutus is honorable or not, after Antony’s funeral speech. Caesar dies because of his hubristic nature, which Brutus believes to be a tremendous flaw in a ruler. Brutus is an honorable man because he is motivated by just, unselfish reasons to end Caesar’s life, and chooses the respectful, caring decisions in dilemmas.
Brutus is seen as honorable and noble even by his enemy, Antony, because Antony notices Brutus is altruistic in the style he assassinates Caesar. “This was the noblest Roman… All the conspirators save only he did that they did in envy of great Caesar; He only, in a general honest thought,” (V.5.68-71). This quote shows that Brutus was thinking not of the rewards for himself, but the rewards the Romans receive from Caesar’s death. This is completely honorable because the other conspirators had traitorous reasons to rebel against Caesar. Brutus believes in the benefit of the people of Rome because he sees Caesar as an ambitious friend. “…I know no personal cause to spurn at him, But for the general. He would be crown’d: How that might change his nature, there’s the question,” (II.1.11-13). In this quote, spoken by Brutus himself, Brutus notices Caesar’s ambitious personality. He plans to ambush Caesar, not for his own personal gain, since Caesar is a friend, but for Rome’s gain. On the opposite perspective, one might see Brutus as a person making a simple excuse to assassinate Caesar, but this is not true. Brutus eventually offers his own life to Rome if Rome needs it, showing sacrifices are needed and Caesar’s sacrifice was needed.
Brutus does not take rash, unneeded decisions that cause unneeded bloodshed. When the conspirators debate on whether to kill Antony or not, Brutus decides to allow Antony to live. “For Antony is but a limb of Caesar. Let’s be sacrificers, but not butchers,” (II.1.165-166). In this quote, Brutus demonstrates caring for his soon to be opponent, allowing Antony a fair fight in the fields of war, rather than a double assassination. Brutus also chooses not to butcher Caesar, but to sacrifice him as if the assassination is sacred. “Let’s kill him boldly, but not wrathfully; Let’s carve him as a dish fit for the gods,” (II.1.172-173). Brutus is the only one that wants Caesar to die gracefully, because he believes Caesar is a good man other than his ambition. He is only afraid of how Caesar will change after obtaining the crown. Another perspective might believe Brutus to be wrong and Caesar’s personality was fine, but Caesar was foolish enough to walk into an ambush by the conspirators even with many warnings. Caesar was lucky to have such a respectful, honorable man be his opponent.
Power is an attractive force that can compel humans to seize leadership whenever possible. Leadership is difficult in this regard, because ambitions can hinder an honorable leader. It is clear that the one honorable person in The Tragedy of Julius Caesar is Brutus. Brutus shows his selflessness and reverence during the play. He is the one that power did not corrupt, he is the one that protects Romans from ambitious leaders, he is the most honorable Roman.
Man Vs. Man in William Shakespeare’s Play ‘The Tragedy of Julius Caesar’
Julius Caesar Lit Anaylsis Rough Draft
In The Tragedy of Julius Caesar, William Shakespeare illustrates many conflicts in the play. The most common one is man verses man. The conflict of man verses man through characters Caesar and Pompey, and Antony and The Conspirators are two very prominent representations of man verses man that are shown in this play.
One main conflict in the play that represents man verses man is the conflict between Caesar and Pompey. The play begins with Caesar returning back to Rome after a civil war. As Marullus, a Roman tribune, says,”Wherefor rejoice? What conquest brings he home?…That needs must light on this ingratitude.” (Shakespeare, 1204) Marullus, a Roman elected official believes that the people of Rome are wrong for celebrating Pompey’s death, and are welcoming Caesar and his victory.
The second man verses man conflict is Antony and The Conspirators. The Conspirators have killed Caesar, and Antony wants revenge on them for it. Antony reveals how he truly feels about The Conspirators by saying,”…And Caesar’s spirit, ranging for revenge…with carrion men, groaning for burial.” (Shakespeare, 1247) Antony feels resentful towards The Conspirators, for they have murdered his friend. He does not show them his bitterness, and what he truly feels, and he’ll play along with them until he has the best opportunity to turn Rome against Brutus and The Conspirators, by giving his speech after Brutus, and
There are many examples of man verses man in The Tragedy of Julius Caesar. The conflicts between Caesar and Pompey and Antony and The Conspirators are just two of many that Shakespeare illustrates to the readers. These conflicts clearly show man verses man in the play.
Calpurnia And Decius’s Arguments In The Tragedy Of Julius Caesar By William Shakespeare
Tragedy of Julius Caesar
In the play Tragedy of Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare, both of these characters Calpurnia and Decius try to persuade Caesar either into continued life, or into betrayal and death. Calpurnia had a vision that Caesar would die if he went to Senate. Opposing to Calpurnia’s dream, Decius promised Caesar the crown if he went to Senate. Calpurnia had to support her argument with her appeal to ethos and her fear for Caesar’s life. She spoke from her heart, but lacked logic in her dream. Decius took advantage of her vision and knew that Caesar would not turn anything down that guaranteed power, success, and wealth. Decius was able to persuade Caesar with alluring lies and evil tactics.
Calpurnia used vivid detail and made strong appeals to ethos to support her argument. Calpurnia’s credibility was established by her simply being the wife of Caesar, one of the greatest men in Rome. She hoped to capture Caesar’s attention by warning him of the terrors she saw in her dreams. For example she tells us, “A lioness hath whelped in the streets, and graves have yawned, and yielded up their dead; Fierce fiery warriors fought upon the cloud” (5-7). Caesar was influenced by Calpurnia’s dream, but it was not enough to make Caesar stay home. Calpurnia concluded her argument to Caesar by stating, “Your wisdom is consumed in confidence. Do not go forth today. Call it my fear” (29-30). Unfortunately, Calpurnia’s appeal to ethos was not able to affect Caesar. Being married to an over confident person, Calpurnia should have known that Caesar would not believe her. He had very few fears; he especially did not fear his death because he knew the God’s had control over it. Caesar was too sure of himself, and as a result Decius took advantage of his arrogance. Decius’s motivation for getting Caesar to go to Senate was based on his ethos. He was a member of a group of conspirators, whose plan was to kill Caesar at Senate. Decius was able to manipulate Caesar by turning everything in his wife’s dream into a positive “This dream is all amiss interpreted; it was a vision fair and fortunate” (45-46). Decius appeals to the ethos of Caesar. He knows that Caesar is greedy, and in a quest for everlasting glory. Decius concluded his argument explaining to Caesar, “And know it now, the Senate have concluded to give this day a crown to mighty Caesar. If you shall send them word you will not come, their minds may change” (56-58). The promises of wealth and success were all Decius needed, in order to influence Caesar. Decius explains what Caesar will be missing if he stays at home. Decius uses ethos because he appeals to the character of Caesar. He knows that Caesar is greedy, in search of glory, and striving to become a legend. Decius simply tells Caesar everything he wants to hear, and tricks him easily in this way.
Both arguments were strong, but in this case, Decius knew Caesar better. Calpurnia and Decius each had a close relationship with Caesar, and they were both equally capable of persuading Caesar. Caesar was neither fearful nor emotional, and as a result, Calpurnia’s emotional argument had little effect on him. Decius was sure that Caesar would not turn down anything that would make him prosperous or greater than the others. Decius was correct, and in the end believing Decius’s lies would cost Caesar his life.
Political Violence In Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar
In Julius Caesar by Shakespeare, Shakespeare shows many different types of political violence which can still be related to today. Shakespeare writes about civil war over how the government should work. This is a concept that can relate to our times and almost any time period. He was likely inspired by political events during his lifetime and before it. This can not only be related to his time but to modern day civil wars. He also wrote about assassination, the idea that without a leader a movement will die and undemocratic means to protect democracy. These are ideas or questions which can relate to our modern day because they are still being asked and attempted.
Shakespeare’s play is often played replacing the Roman characters with modern day characters, one version of the play showed Mussolini as Caesar. Shakespeare was after all inspired by his surroundings and the era. William Shakespeare was born April 23, 1564 according to church documents in Stratford, England. William Shakespeare died on his birthday in 1616. His parents were Mary Arden and John Shakespeare. He married Anne Hathaway on November 28, 1582. William Shakespeare learned Greek and Latin which suggests a strong education according to J.M.Pressley. He retired in 1611 Stratford where he lived out the last five years of his life in peace. Paraphrasing Dana Demange’s article Greek and Roman culture affected was the hit thing of the time in England. Since it was the big thing of the time it probably affected his writing style reading about Greco-Roman plays and history.
These stories from hundreds of years ago still related to Shakespeare’s time just as Shakespeare’s plays still related to our time. These Greco-Roman stories related especially to England who had recently gone through a lot of internal political violence. The murder of political opponents’ reputations was also very common in England at this time, Protestant nobles and Catholic nobles would try to end each other’s career by getting power and placing laws to hurt them. These turbulent times in England most definitely impacted his writing. One of the things that makes Julius Caesar a play that will always be relatable to modern times is its fundamental ideas. These fundamental ideas are things that will happen as long as their are humans and as long as there are countries. One of these ideas is undemocratic ways to protect democracy. When Brutus and Cassius kill Julius Caesar they are committing physical violence which is prohibited in a democracy, they are committing this violence however to protect the democracy.
“Extolling the play as a masterpiece about power and political violence, director Oskar Eustis persuasively defended his interpretation as a warning about “what happens when you try to preserve democracy by nondemocratic means.” The question of whether this violence is justified is one that is still asked today and it’s a question that Shakespeare provoked in his literature. In Julius Caesar another fundamental idea about political violence is set up which is assassination and how effective it is. Cutting of the head of the snake to see the whole snake die is an idea which still occurs in today’s conflicts. When Julius Caesar is assassinated by his opponents who want to keep the republic, Brutus and Cassius said they were liberators and that Julius Caesar was going to enslave them.
This was initially supported by the people of Rome but then they end getting their reputations ended by their opponents who stirred up all of Rome saying that they were murders and dishonorable. Soon the republicans where kicked out of Rome and died off. This can be related to the Russia revolt against the tsar where revolutionaries killed the tsar to free the people but soon found that their opponents had convinced the people these men where not to be trusted and they were killed by the people they believed to be freeing. In both the play and historical account cutting of the head of the snake did not work for the opponents of the people in power because soon they were cut off too. “The October Revolution was a pivotal event in world history with effects that reverberated through the 20th century. It plunged Russia into years of unrest, civil war, terror and famine”.
The final idea Shakespeare wrote about in his play was civil war over how a government should work may lead to no change but many dead on both sides. In the play after both civil wars and even the death of Julius Caesar nothing was accomplished. This is relatable to Present day Iraq were the leader of the undemocratic regime was killed and they have gone through many civil wars and are still going through them but no changes have gone through in the government. In conclusion Shakespeare’s play Julius Caesar is relatable to our present and always will be. He was able to see how humans had always repeated history and put this into his plays so they would never go out of style. His play Julius Caesar is undoubtedly still relevant to today. This is proven by the modern day events that mirror his play. Shakespeare’s work has lasted over four hundred years and still been relevant and it’s relevancy will most likely out live everything we know.
Idealism In The Tragedy of Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare
In The Tragedy of Julius Caesar, William Shakespeare uses rhetoric, dramatic irony, and the characters of Cassius and Brutus to reveal with vivid strokes how idealism undermines our capacity to comprehend different outcomes and forces us down a path of societal distress.
Idealism limits our capability to think and therefore lowers our potential as human beings. Shakespeare effectively shows this through conversations between Cassius and Brutus. Brutus is the embodiment of idealism because of his patriotism for Rome and his belief in Rome and its people. Cassius on the other hand is cunning and he is able to use this patriotism in that is in Brutus to further his own agenda and specific goals. Men at some time are masters of their fates. The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves” This illustrates how simple it was to convince Brutus to kill Caesar. All Cassius needed to do was touch upon Brutus’ ego every so slightly in order to promote thought that showed him a picture of a world where he, Brutus, was ruler and how amazing that world could be for Rome. Cassius also cunningly puts forth the idea that we have control our own fate, if we want something we need to accomplish it ourselves. The fault is not in our stars, suggests that no one is born to rule, we need to earn that right which Caesar has not and Brutus can easily do. Brutus now could not look past this ideal world that he had created in his head and kept comparing it to the one with Caesar. He was debating whether or not to kill Caesar but not once did he reevaluate his position with Cassius that Caesar was ambitious. His ideal world limited the scope of his thinking a ultimately lead him to the killing of Caesar. “Like wrath in death and envy afterwards… Let us be sacrificers but not butchers, Caius.” (61,Shakespeare) Butus’ limited thought process is explicitly shown here as well, he is not able to see beyond the point that it would be wrong to kill Marc Antony simply because he was a close friend of Caesar. He saw that in his ideal world Marc Antony would not have to be killed, instead Antony could play an instrumental part in convincing the Roman people that the killing of Caesar was necessary. But in reality Brutus had been warned multiple times by Cassius that Marc Antony should be killed or at least not allowed to speak. Cassius tries to explain to Brutus that Marc Antony, if allowed to speak to the Roman public, could wreak havoc to an already volatile situation but because of his strong ideals and beliefs Brutus was left unmoved. This vividly illustrates that idealism can seriously hinder our abilities to think forward and significantly decreases our potential as human beings.
Idealism is easily manipulated to further one’s own agenda and self centered views. With the objective of convincing a man to turn his back on his friend, Cassius focuses on two specific strategies. First to prompt Brutus’ sense of civic responsibility and to weaken Brutus’ devotion to Caesar. First, Cassius uses devices such as contradiction and dramatic comparisons. He points out Caesars shortcomings and contrasts him to fellow men, showing no difference between Caesar and ordinary men in comparison. This implies that Caesar is just as likely to become corrupted with power, despite him being treated as a god. One example of this is Cassius’ constant comparing Caesar with Brutus. “ “Brutus” and “Caesar”—what should be in that/ “Caesar”? Why should that name be sounded more than/ yours?”(23). He forces Brutus to question whether such ordinary and weak men deserve to hold such power, well continually flattering Brutus. Once Brutus starts to believe that Caesar doesn’t actually have the kind of power that is implied, he starts thinking that Caesar is actually not fit to lead. In reality Cassius is jealous of Caesar’s power and even the close relationship that Brutus and Caesar have. Cassius always wanted to be part of Caesars inner circle and be part of the process as well, this never actually happened though and Cassius sought revenge in the form of breaking the relationship between Brutus and Caesar as well as seize all of Caesar’s power. Cassius is using Brutus to pursue his personal vendetta and Brutus has fallen into his trap. Cassius is aware that knowing the audience is essential to successfully persuading. When Brutus uses the word honor twice in eight lines, emphasizing the weight he places on honor. Cassius quickly takes advantage of this. “I know that virtue to be in you, Brutus,/ As well as I do know your outward favor./ Well, honor is the subject of my story.” He also emphasizes other words that Brutus resonates with, such as “free” and “Rome” as Brutus is a patriot and is willing to do anything for his country.
Julius Caesar in Shakespeare’s play “The Tragedy of Julius Caesar”
Shakespeare’s play The Tragedy of Julius Caesar, Julius Caesar is really close to having total control by becoming the emperor of Rome. However, when he thinks he is so close to getting away with it, his so called friends (most of them are from the senate) decide to overthrow him, along with Caesar’s best friend, Marcus Brutus, who act as a leader of the conspirators. Though the fall of Caesar from an extremely powerful and respected man to a man who’s been betrayed and stabbed twenty three times in the back and dies is a big step down, however he is not the tragic hero of this ever so tragic play..
Brutus is considered the tragic hero of this play because he was faced with major conflicts, he was stuck between choosing his loyalty to Caesar, or his loyalty to Rome. Brutus decides to stay loyal to Rome because even though his connection with Caesar is strong, his connection with the people of Rome is stronger. After Brutus killed Caesar he goes onto say …Not that I lov’d Caesar less, but that I lov’d Rome more. (3.2.15) This shows that Brutus is willing to do anything for the empire that he is extremely loyal to, even if it means the death of his friend is on his hands. Brutus has support from the people of Rome and does not want them to lose their power because of Caesar. Because people who strongly dislike Caesar (The conspirators and people from the senate) know about Brutus’ loyalty to his empire, they are able to take advantage of him and convince him to go along with their plan to kill Caesar.Brutus chooses to go along with their plan because he believes it is what is best for Rome.
However, some people claim that Caesar is the tragic hero. The reason for this is not the fact that he is the leader (well that might have something to do with it), but people say this because Caesar is of noble stature when Caesar is offered a crown from Antony he refuses it three times while the people of Rome watch, Aye marry was’t, and he put it by thrice, every time gentler than the others, and every putting-by mine honest neighbors shouted (1.2.225). The People of Rome see this as respectful and noble. People also claim this because Caesars downfall was caused by injustice. Brutus still remains the tragic hero. He stayed loyal to his empire no matter the cost, he killed his most trusted friend just so the Roman people could be free. If that does not prove someone is a hero I do not know what will. Brutus also killed himself out of guilt from killing Caesar.
As proven, Brutus is clearly the tragic hero of this play. He was constantly faced with choosing who he has to stay loyal to. He does what he thinks is best for his country therefore making him a hero. Brutus consistently shows his loyalty to Rome and Rome’s people, he wants what is best for them no matter the cost. Maybe next time you read a book you should see who the real tragic hero is. It just might surprise you. It might be the person you least expected it to be.
Shakespeare, William. The Tragedy of Julius Caesar. Literature and the Language Arts
Understanding Literature, e dited by Laurie Skiba, EMC/Paradigm Publishing, 2005, 246-338.
“The Tragedy of Julius Caesar” by William Shakespeare
In the play “The Tragedy of Julius Caesar”, Antony is viewed as loyal to Caesar and honors his life by giving a speech to all of Rome at his funeral. His task of convincing the Romans that his death is unjustified is complicated by the compelling speech Brutus has just made about why it is justified. Nevertheless, Antony’s speech results in success due to his use of antithesis and gruesome diction.
In his funeral speech, Mark Antony uses antithesis to disprove Brutus’ justification of murdering Caesar. At the funeral, Antony is speaking to the citizens of Rome and reminding them of the good Caesar had accomplished before his death. He reminds them of how “When that the poor have cried, Caesar hath wept: Ambition should be made of sterner stuff: Yet Brutus says he was ambitious” (Shakespeare, 90-94). This quote exemplifies how Caesar empathizes with the people of Rome and genuinely wants to improve their lives. Contrasting this against Brutus’ claim challenges its credibility by providing evidence against it. Antony also states that he “thrice presented him a kingly crown, which he thrice did refuse… Yet Brutus says he was ambitious” (Shakespeare, 95-99). Here, Antony specifies that Caesar refused to be crowned not once, but three times (“thrice”). Turning it down three times shows he denied it willfully, not to appear humble. Many leaders with selfish intentions are careful to hide them and do or say things to appear like they are ruling “for the good of the people.”
A leader like this may say no when first asked to be crowned, in order to maintain their selfless image, but would eventually give in to their craving for power. Having been asked three times and still saying no proves that Caesar genuinely meant it and would do what is in Rome’s best interest, even when the Romans themselves wanted him to be king. Antony shows the invalidity of Brutus’s claim by demonstrating how even when given the opportunity of greater power, Caesar did not take take advantage of it. Though the Romans initially support the assassination of Caesar after hearing Brutus’ speech, Antony is successful in refuting his justification of it and thereby convincing the Romans that Caesar’s murder was unwarranted and tragic.
Antony also utilizes gruesome diction to evoke emotion from the citizens of Rome. He presents vivid descriptions of Caesar’s murder, using phrases such as “ran Cassius’ dagger through” (168-169), “the blood of Caesar followed…rushing” (171-173), and “all the while ran blood” (183). By having such vivid, gory words placed in their minds, the citizens of Rome begin to sympathize with Caesar and thereby become angry about his murder. Later into his speech when announcing he is holding Caesar’s will, Antony says that if he read it aloud, “the commons…would go and kiss Caesar’s dead wounds and dip their napkins in his sacred blood” (128-135). Antony specifically focuses on how the citizens themselves would react if they heard Caesar’s will, which makes Caesar’s death feel like a personal offence to them. He also uses gruesome word choice, which tends to evoke strong emotions such as disturbance and sadness. By using words that bring out these emotions in the Roman citizens, he makes them feel as if they should be sorrowful about his death, and moreover, that anyone who doesn’t feel sorrowful about it is lacking in moral character.
Mark Antony’s speech was effective in persuading the Romans that the conspirators should not have killed Caesar because he confuted any reason they would have to defend it. His impact on the citizens not only changed their view on Caesar’s death, but determined the course of the play and the fate of Rome. If Antony doesn’t given his speech after Brutus gives his, the Romans will continue to support Brutus and the other conspirators, giving them power. However, after hearing Antony speak, they declare mutiny against the conspirators and begin a riot, which starts a civil war. The potential for one speech to be so impactful on a whole city exhibits how words alone can change the course of history.