This paper outlines the ever-lasting and never-ending issue of political morality that is substantially demonstrated in the play Julius Caesar by one of the greatest, if not the greatest, 16th century dramatist William Shakespeare. As passionate as they may be, they are rarely constant. “Now let it work. Jealous conspirators convince Caesar's friend Brutus to join their assassination plot against Caesar. Julius Caesar - Analysis of Brutus William Shakespeare's play, The Tragedy of Julius Caesar, is mainly based on the assassination of Julius Caesar. Cassius is constant, though, towards his friend, Titinius, when he, believing his friend has been taken by the enemy, kills himself. Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. The first scene of the play depicts the conflict between Rome’s Republican past and Caesar’s ascendance. The Republic was viewed as a high point in history, both by its participants and by those who came after, because its institutions divided power among a number of people (senators and tribunes) rather than concentrating it in one person. 1. lines 73-77, 8. Brutus acknowledges the constancy of Caesar’s power when his avengers defeat Brutus and Cassius in the battles toward the end of the play, causing Cassius and his loyal friend, Titinius, to kill themselves. “Et tu, Brute? Gaius Julius Caesar was a Roman aristocrat, politician, military leader, Dictator, and author, active in the last decades of the Roman Republic, in the first century BC. His followers wish to make him kingâ¦ read analysis of Julius Caesar Indeed, his constant loyalty to Rome even outweighs his loyalty to his friend, Caesar. “Caesar, now be still:/I kill’d not thee with half so good a will.” –Brutus, Act V, Scene v, lines 50-51. Julius Caesar, the tragedy, is based on the life of said ancient Roman emperor and considered written by Shakespeare â¦ Cassius argues for the former, while Brutus argues the latter, based on the principle of inconstancy. At the beginning of the play the Republican mode of government is under serious threat, since Julius Caesar is ruling as a dictator and may soon be crowned as a king. After killing Caesar, Brutus tells the other conspirators to dip their hands in Caesar’s blood, and to plead their cause to the people: killing Caesar was for the good of Rome, not for the conspirators’ private profit, and they are to reveal themselves proudly as liberators from Caesar’s growing tyranny (Act III, Scene i). You'll get access to all of the Julius Caesar content, as well as access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts. Brutus’ duty to Rome outweighs his kindness to his friends; such noble constancy is rare. We see the sinister masked figures of the conspirators appearing at Brutus’s door, and finally, in Act III, Brutus and the others betray and stab Caesar to death. “O, coward that I am to live so long/To see my best friend ta’en before my face!” (Cassius, Act V, scene iii, lines 34-35) When Titinius, having not been taken, returns and sees Cassius lying dead on the ground, he kills himself, too. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. Caesar describes Cassius as having a “lean and hungry” look, as if he lies awake at night brooding. JULIUS CAESAR. Home â Essay Samples â History â Julius Caesar â An Analysis of Politics in Julius Caesar, a Play by William Shakespeare This essay has been submitted by a student. William Shakespeareâs play, The Tragedy of Julius Caesar, is mainly based on the assassination of Julius Caesar. Shakespeareâs account of the Roman general Julius Caesarâs murder by his friend Brutus is a meditation on duty. Brutus wants to fight Mark Antony and Octavius while his and Cassius’ armies still have the men “‘twixt Philippi and this ground” on their side, for, being “but in a forc’d affection”, those men may switch to the enemy’s side if Mark Antony and Octavius meet them before the battle. In fact, the Republic doesn’t dissolve with Caesar’s coronation, but rather with his murder. I then discuss the worldview that Shakespeare The paperâs main His ascent to the throneâand the political unrest surrounding itâdrives the plot and produces the playâs central tensions. Rather than restoring Republican balance, Caesar’s murder unleashes a brutal civil war in which the self-interest and power of the warring parties are all that matter. Julius Caesar is a conqueror. Finally, when all is lost in the wars between Brutus’ army and those of Mark Antony and Octavius (later Augustus), Brutus runs into his sword, accepting the continuing power of Caesar even after his death (see quote 10). Mischief, thou art afoot,/Take thou what course thou wilt,” Antony says as he watches the people of Rome riot, loot, and search for revenge for Caesar’s death (Act III, scene ii, lines 261-262). Julius Caesar Analysis 1914 Words | 8 Pages. We see Brutus reject his wife Portia, who represents the nobler side of his character. The conspirators, of course, almost immediately after, in the same scene, show their inconstancy to Caesar by stabbing him to death. Caesar himself is mostly constant, though he fears “lean and hungry” Cassius, and wants fat men about him; almost in the same breath, however, he says, “always I am Caesar”. Both of them have weakened their own cause by continuing to display the same flaws each exhibited in the early acts. In the play, Caesar sometimes allows his pride to â¦ While Dante, in his Inferno, portrayed both leading conspirators, Brutus and Cassius, as traitors whose treachery is comparable to that of Judas Iscariot, Shakespeare portrays Brutus as being the only conspirator who acted selflessly, for the good of Rome. “Brutus, come apace,/And see how I regarded Caius Cassius./By your leave, gods. He is a victorious leader of Rome. Here's an in-depth analysis of the most important parts, in an easy-to-understand format. We see Cassius’s manipulation of Brutus in Act I, then Brutus’s debate with himself at the beginning of Act II, in which the tortured logic of his reasons shows how out of touch with the truth he is. Read a character analysis of Brutus, plot summary, and important quotes. At his time, Conquering wars and winning battles are signs of greatness as a person and a leader. He fears the growing power of Caesar, but is inconstant with the truth when he forges letters of complaint about Caesar’s tyranny, and has them tossed in the windows of Brutus’ home to trick him into joining the conspirators. Plot analysis Main Ideas Plot analysis. Julius Caesar’s constancy seems the greatest of all. “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.” –Cassius, Act I, Scene ii, lines 135-141, 3. Leaving behind him a bequest of military triumphs and trampled enemies, Julius Caesar one time once more demonstrated he was a true event-making adult male. Julius Caesar opens with the tribunes of the people chastising the plebeians for being fickle. Julius Caesar tells the story of how the Roman Republic came to its end. Genre Identity Of Julius Caesar. This shows that Julius Caesar, like any leaders, has great ambition. However, one does exist and it is Rome herself. The commoners march in celebration of Caesar’s victory over Pompey but the Tribunes scold them and chase them off, arguing that Pompey was a celebrated Roman too so Caesar’s triumph is not truly a triumph for Rome. This essay suggests that they are not mutually exclusive theatrical genres, and thus can be combined in one dramatic work. But Brutus makes the fatal error of allowing Antony to speak, because he is still deluded about himself and his own actions, clinging to the idea that he is the most honorable of Romans and that no one would dare dispute his honor. But ’tis a common proof/That lowliness is young ambition’s ladder,/Whereto the climber-upward turns his face;/But when he once attains the upmost round,/He then unto the ladder turns his back,/Looks in the clouds, scorning the base degrees/By which he did ascend. Julius Caesar tells the story of how the Roman Republic came to its end. Julius Caesar study guide contains a biography of William Shakespeare, literature essays, a complete e-text, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis. Caesar is on his way to the Capitol surrounded by murderers. ( Log Out / But while Brutus is not wrong to see Caesar as a threat to Republican institutions—Caesar really does see himself as set apart from other men and intends to rule by his own will, unswayed by other people’s arguments—we see clear signs throughout the first two acts that the idea of assassinating Caesar is a dark and mistaken path for Brutus to take. So Caesar may.” (Brutus, Act II, Scene i, lines 18-27). Literary Analysis of the Tragedy of Julius Caesar 773 Words | 4 Pages. Once he has the ever-malleable crowd following him, however, he seems happier to use this support for his own political ascendancy than for Caesar’s revenge. “…but for mine own part, it was Greek to me.” –Casca, Act I, Scene ii, around line 282, 4. To stop Caesar from gaining too much power, Brutus and the conspirators kill him on the Ides of March. When Brutus and Cassius meet in Act IV, at the head of their armies, and begin arguing with each other, we can see that they’re doomed. Analysis. “There is a tide in the affairs of men/Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;/Omitted, all the voyage of their life/Is bound in shallows and in miseries./On such a full sea are we now afloat;/And we must take the current when it serves,/Or lose our ventures.” –Brutus, Act IV, Scene iii, lines 216-222, 10. When Brutus, Cassius, Titinius, and Messala discuss the battle plans against the army of Mark Antony and Octavius, there is disagreement over where to meet the enemy: should they wait for them to arrive, tired from long marching, while their own armies are well-rested and ready, or should they march on and face the enemy farther ahead? Julius Caesar Character Analysis Cassius' Strength's and Weaknesses Cassius was one of the conspirators against Cesar and proves to be a powerful character in Shakespeare's, Julius Caesar. This is not an example of the work written by professional essay writers. First performed around 1599, when the English royal succession was uncertain, Julius Caesar confronts the dangers of political turmoil. “Cowards die many times before their deaths;/The valiant never taste of death but once./Of all the wonders that I yet have heard,/It seems to me most strange that men should fear;/Seeing that death, a necessary end,/Will come when it will come.” –Caesar, Act II, Scene ii, lines 32-37, 5. Because they don’t actually represent a political movement for republicanism and because the assassination was a tragic crime, Cassius and Brutus end by killing themselves, power in Rome passes into the hands of Mark Antony and Octavius, and the tyranny that Brutus hoped to avert comes to pass. The conspirators present themselves as motivated by a desire to save the Roman Republic and overthrow tyranny, but the play teaches us not to take their claims at face value. In his home at night, before the other conspirators arrive, he speaks of how those who gain power often ignore the base degrees from which they’ve climbed. Most significantly, we see Cassius deliberately mislead Brutus by arranging to have fake notes left on his chair and thrown in at his window as if the people were encouraging him to rise against Caesar. His ghost appears to Brutus (Act IV, scene iii), showing us how Caesar still exists, even if no longer in physical form. Brutus and Cassius are forced to flee Rome and the country is plunged into civil war. The author from the play is named William Shakespeare, The United Kingdom is the country where William Shakespeare born in April 1564. At first, they’re shocked and horrified that their beloved leader has been assassinated in a conspiracy (Act III, scene ii); Brutus quickly sways their opinion in his favour in a brief speech: “If there be any in this assembly, any dear friend of Caesar’s, to him I say that Brutus’ love to Caesar was no less than his. During the plotting with the conspirators that night, Brutus rejects Cassius’ recommendation to kill Mark Antony, too, feeling their “course will seem too bloody”. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. After the assassination, the conspirators’ survival depends on their ability to convince the populace and the other senators of Rome that what they did was for the sake of the Republic. The character who was in charge of the assassination was, ironically, Marcus Brutus, a servant and close friend to Julius Caesar. Julius Caesar. Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. “O Julius Caesar, thou art mighty yet!/Thy spirit walks abroad and turns our swords/In our own proper entrails.” (Brutus, Act V, scene iii, lines 93-95), Now we’ll examine inconstancy, of which there’s plenty in this play. He has much strength and very few weaknesses and this helped him achieve small goals that led to his main goal of killing Caesar. I analyze each of the major characters, especially in the ambiguity of them all. Julius Caesar, in full Gaius Julius Caesar, (born July 12/13, 100? “Th’abuse of greatness is, when it disjoins/Remorse from power; and to speak truth of Caesar,/I have not known when his affections sway’d/More than his reason. “Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears;/I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him./The evil that men do lives after them;/The good is oft interred with their bones;/So let it be with Caesar.” –Mark Antony, Act III, Scene ii. Brutus continues to be crippled by the delusion that he is more honorable than other people; he thus attacks his chief ally for his dishonorable actions and has himself failed to raise funds for his army because he refuses to get money “by vile means.” Though the two reconcile, Brutus refuses to listen to Cassius (who at least usually has good instincts for self-preservation) and leads their forces into an ill-fated assault. SparkNotes is brought to you by Barnes & Noble. The assassination actually represents their personal grievances, fears, and self-interest more than the interest of Rome. In all of Brutus’ speeches, be they public or private, he always puts Rome first. “I will this night,/In several hands, in at his windows throw,/As if they came from several citizens,/Writings, all tending to the great opinion/That Rome holds of his name; wherein obscurely/Caesar’s ambition shall be glanced at.” (Cassius, Act I, scene ii). When, during Lupercal, Caesar describes Cassius as a dangerous man, Antony defends him as "a noble Roman and well given." When Brutus learns of officers in Cassius’ army taking bribes, he shows his opposition so openly that he wounds Cassius’ pride, resulting in a quarrel (Act IV, Scene iii). Cassius’ inconstancy is particularly blatant. modern France) into the Mediterranean world i.e. Truly, he, in the regard of military ability, displayed extraordinary expertness and capableness. As Caesar is loudly cheered by crowds offstage, we see Brutus admitting to Cassius that he is worried about what’s happening to the Republic. View all posts by Mawr Gorshin. What will happen, however, is, so far, only "a bustling rumor, like a fray, / And the wind brings it from the Capitol." In assassinating Caesar, Brutus thinks that he is striking a blow for Republican ideals and doing what is best for Rome, but in actuality he has let himself be manipulated by Cassius and the other conspirators. the Roman Empire, as well as indirectly for the same with regards to Britain. Julius Caesar is a tragedy Shakespeare is believed to have written in 1599; the play is based on the assassination in 44 BC of the ancient Roman dictator and its aftermath in the Battle of Philippi. Use up and down arrows to review and enter to select. Later in that scene, Brutus’ constancy is so full that he would allow Mark Antony to honour Caesar in his funeral for the good he did in his life; this generosity, of course, is a risk Brutus is taking, and one that ultimately leads to his death, but it also shows how constant he is. His power lives on after his death, though, for Mark Antony and Octavius act as his avenging agents. ( Log Out / Then Mark Antony sways the people’s opinion back against the conspirators in his repeated ironic reference to Brutus, Cassius, et al as “honourable”, during his “Friends, Romans, countrymen,” speech. Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this Julius Caesar study guide. They refer to the masses as \"You blocks, you stones, you worse than senseless things!\"(1.1.34). This imagery of the masses as stones will continue throughout the play. “But Brutus says he was ambitious,/And Brutus is an honourable man.” –Mark Antony, Act III, Scene ii, lines 86-87, 9. As Cassius points out, in order to control how their actions are understood, they must either kill or at least silence Mark Antony, Caesar’s loyal and powerful friend who is likely to speak against them. From his first appearance, Caesar openly displays a superstitious nature, but also from the beginning he displays a propensity to ignore warnings and signs that should alert a â¦ If then that friend demand why Brutus rose against Caesar, this is my answer: Not that I lov’d Caesar less, but that I lov’d Rome more. Later, when she fears for him and his shaky fortunes in the wars after killing Caesar, we learn she’s killed herself by swallowing burning coals, or fire, as it says in the text (Act IV, scene iii). He says “I am constant as the northern star” when he is asked for pardon for the banished brother of Metellus Cimber, one of the conspirators (Act III, scene i). The Julius Caesar quotes below are all either spoken by Julius Caesar or refer to Julius Caesar. All of this swaying of public opinion happens in the same scene, within a period of about a half hour. Now, one dialectical opposition is that between the erotic and the ascetic, so accordingly, my writing encompasses the sexual as well as the philosophical; the former can be found in my publications on the Literotica website, as well as my self-published (erotic) horror writing on Amazon. The other conspirators openly admit to each other that they need Brutus to participate because they know that their actions would be seen as treasonous without his reputation to make them look better than they are. Elsewhere, Mark Antony seems constant in his loyalty to Caesar and to Rome in his “Friends, Romans, countrymen” speech, in which he passionately demonstrates Caesar’s love of the Roman people while sarcastically parroting Brutus’ “honourable” intentions. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one: ). Glossary. Literary Analysis of The Tragedy of Julius Caesar William Shakespeare wrote his play The Tragedy of Julius Caesar, so that his readers could have an idea of the lives, wars, and conflicts during the roman times. Millions of books are just a click away on BN.com and through our FREE NOOK reading apps. (Act I, scene ii, lines 220-240, etc.). “Beware the ides of March.” –Soothsayer, Act I, Scene ii, line 18, 2. Artemidorous may offer him a way out if he can only hear it and the soothsayer of this scene looks as though he may offer Caesar another chance. At the beginning of the play, Caesar has just defeated the faction of his rival, Pompey. Caesar, who is so perceptive in his analysis of Cassius, cannot always look "quite through the deeds" of a calculating deceiver. Cassius is the person tempting Brutus in this direction, and we see more clearly than Brutus does that Cassius’s motives are personal rather than idealistic. The main theme of this play is constancy versus inconstancy, everyone in the play manifesting varying combinations of these two opposites. Portia, Brutus’ wife, is offended that he won’t tell her what’s troubling him and keeping him awake at night (Act II, scene i); she feels he doubts her constancy, which she proves by cutting a wound in her leg. I'm merging the variety of topics I've blogged about--which include literary and film analyses, anarchism, socialism, libertarian-leaning Marxism, narcissistic abuse, and psychoanalysis--into a coherent philosophy centred on dialectical materialism, dialectical monism, and object relations theory. Brutus explicitly comments to the audience after Brutus leaves the stage at the end of Act I, Scene ii that he’s just manipulated him. –Then fall, Caesar!” –Caesar, Act III, Scene i, line 77, 6. This study guide and infographic for William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar offer summary and analysis on themes, symbols, and other literary devices found in the text. ( Log Out / Though fearing suspicious types like Cassius, he insists “always I am Caesar” (Act I, scene ii). Cassius has acted out of self-interest and now has angered Brutus by selling important offices for personal gain and refusing to send Brutus funds to raise an army. There is no clear tragic hero, as they can all be both heroic and tragic. Political decisions were made through public debate and persuasive argument, and in theory the ideas that would be best for Rome would prevail rather than the will of one ruler. Julius Caesar Summary. Julius Caesar is a book which a person should find noble people who going against each other for power, leadership, or control. He has traveled and conquer the major cities of Europe and planning to conquer the part of Asia also. The most blatant example of inconstancy, however, is that of the crowd of common Romans outside the Capitol after Caesar’s murder. Mark Antony drives the conspirators out of Rome and fights them in a battle. The first two acts of the play thus show the rise of the conspiracy and Brutus’s decision to join it. Cassius is opposed to Caesar’s corruption, but is lenient over the bribery his soldiers are guilty of; hence Brutus’ accusation that Cassius has an “itching palm” (Act IV, scene iii, line 10). At the end of the play, Mark Antony honours Brutus for being the one conspirator who acted not out of envy, but for the good of Rome. Character Analysis in Julius Caesar Julius Caesar : At the playâs start, Julius Caesar is the sole ruler of the Roman Republic, having recently defeated Pompey. Change ), Detailed Synopsis of ‘Julius Caesar’ | mawrgorshin, Detailed Synopsis of ‘The Merchant of Venice’ | mawrgorshin, Analysis of ‘The French Connection’ – Infinite Ocean, Analysis of ‘Deliverance’ – Infinite Ocean, ‘Sirens,’ a Horror Novella, Chapter Thirteen (Final), ‘Sirens,’ a Horror Novella, Chapter Twelve. Julius Caesar is a Roman Empire ruler known as a braggart as a result of his pride and arrogance; he is a complex man with strengths and weaknesses, overall; he is a great man who commands and receives respect from all. ( Log Out / First, we’ll look at examples of constancy. Also, he thrice refuses a kingly crown, though, as Casca reports, he refuses it less and less. Explore Course Hero's library of literature materials, including documents and Q&A pairs. Julius Caesar is a famous Roman general and husband to Calpurnia. Julius Caesar Literary Analysis July 29, 2019 by Essay Writer In William Shakespeareâs tragic play Julius Caesar, the contrast between honor and power in a leadership position is presented as many individuals work to better Rome with their own ideals of national glory. To help you look at any scene in Julius Caesar and begin to analyse it, itâs important to ask questions about how it's written and why. Cassius’s story to Brutus about rescuing Caesar from the river but then later finding himself Caesar’s inferior suggests his resentment about being undervalued personally rather than Rome’s institutions being threatened. “Cry ‘Havoc!’ and let slip the dogs of war.” –Mark Antony, Act III, scene i, line 274, 7. A Rhetorical Analysis of Julius Caesar Abby Smith Mrs. Crank Phoenix II Pre-AP/IB/GT 2 24 February 2013 The killing of Julius Caesar was not so much an act of simple brutality as it was a significant turning point in history. On the day of his murder, he allows the entreaties of his wife, Calpurnia, to make him stay at home (Act II, scene ii) when she tells him of a dream she’s had, seeming to portend his bloody death; yet when Decius Brutus gives a misleadingly positive interpretation of the dream, Caesar quickly changes his mind and leaves home with the conspirators. Having trouble understanding Julius Caesar? Analysis of âJulius Caesarâ Mawr Gorshin educational aid , literature analysis November 17, 2013 August 30, 2019 8 Minutes Julius Caesar is a tragedy Shakespeare is believed to have written in 1599; the play is based on the assassination in 44 BC of the ancient Roman dictator and its aftermath in the Battle of Philippi. 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