Julius Caesar 2 Essay, Research Paper
Julius Caesar Essay
William Shakespeare s Julius Caesar displays Cassius, Brutus and Antony s character as either an egoist or an idealist. Cassius and Antony share a manipulative and devious nature while Brutus remains honourable and loyal. Each of these characters dictates a revealing soliloquy or speech that supports these character traits.
First, Cassius soliloquy reveals his egoist personality that includes a manipulative nature. Cassius takes advantage of weak situations that arise and use them to his own advantage. For example, Cassius plots to write different letters to Brutus in different handwritings to make him think Rome thinks highly of him. Cassius takes advantage of the fact that Rome already admires and respects Brutus as a person. Cassius acted with this deviousness and dishonestly to get what he wants which is for Brutus to join the conspirators. His manipulative nature shows as Shakespeare places a metaphor in Cassius soliloquy. Cassius compares Brutus to a piece of metal that a craftsman shapes into a different object. Cassius thinks he can beguile anyone, and especially Brutus into becoming a conspirator. Through flattery, Cassius betrays his friend by telling him that Rome admires and respects him. Cassius also shows vengeance because he is jealous that Caesar dislikes him and loves Brutus. He takes advantage of his and Brutus friendship to gain power in Rome and rid Rome of Caesar for good. Throughout Cassius soliloquy, an egoist nature brings out negative qualities, like deceit and dishonesty, and applies to his actions.
Second, Brutus, while Cassius practices deviousness, remains honourable and loyal. Through his soliloquy, Brutus decides that Caesar must be assassinated. Brutus comes to this decision based on the fact that there is no personal grudge against Caesar, but he is concerned for the good of Rome. Caesar, by another metaphor from Shakespeare, compares to an adder and absolute power compares to the deadly sting. Brutus makes this comparison because it describes the point that if Caesar gains power, it will do great harm to Rome and its people. Brutus put aside all other moral values to support the one he believed in the most, loyalty. Brutus also states in his soliloquy that Caesar s emotions have never overruled his reason, but power without feeling would be abusive. Brutus reveals another characteristic in his soliloquy, realism. He is realistic because he thinks toward the future when he states that there is no reason to oppose Caesar now. Brutus thinks in the future, Caesar s personality and power could change and he could become and abusive dictator. Brutus considers all of these factors when making his decision to assassinate the tyrant. Brutus remains loyal to his country, even when outside conflicts try to interfere.
Last, Antony reveals his egoism, devious and deceitful attributes through a speech that he makes at Caesar s oration. He is only to praise Caesar, at Brutus demands, but instead Antony uses this opportunity to his advantage for revenge on the conspirators. First, Antony uses Caesar s will to appeal to the crowd s greed and curiosity. He knows the crowd would stay interested in his speech if they are inquisitive. Antony refuses to read to will because he lies about the contents. The seventy-five drachmas for each citizen and private property for public bark is of Antony s deviousness to get the crowd to think and believe that Caesar is generous and kind to the Romans. Next, Antony uses Caesar s body and cloak as props to make the crown feel pity for Caesar and hatred toward the conspirators. Specifically, Antony points to the bloody holes in the cloak and says the name of the conspirator that put it there. Through Antony s deceit, the crown naturally feels pity for Caesar. Antony uses self-criticism to try to gain sympathy and pity for himself. To do so, he claims he is not an orator like Brutus. As Antony speaks, he puts in word of hatred towards the conspirators. This speech begins a civil war throughout Rome. Antony portrays a manipulative character because a civil war was what he wanted as he stated earlier in his soliloquy. Through his speech at Caesar s oration, Antony proves he is a devious and deceitful person.
Therefore, Shakespeare displayed Cassius, Brutus and Antony s character as either an egoist or an idealist. Many examples prove that Cassius and Antony portray more negative qualities, while Brutus keeps his morals intact with positive ones. For each character, a soliloquy or speech solidified the characteristics that determine who they are.