Ceasar Essay

2321 words - 9 pages

English II March 28,2001 An Analysis of Julius Caesar In Julius Caesar, Shakespeare was able to use the public figure of Julius Caesar in order to weave a web of deceit. By using one of his favorite writing styles, Shakespeare foreshadows many of the events. The characters never directly say what they are meaning. The following information is an analysis, by act, of some of the major conflicts, prophecies, and the eventual doom of Julius Caesar.Act I The play, Julius Caesar, opens with the tribunes (political speakers) of the people criticizing the plebeians (commoners) for being fickle because they have forgotten Pompey and all his war victories. These plebeians are quick to change their allegiance from Pompey to Caesar. In fact, they consider Caesar a "god". The tribunes refer to the people as "You blocks, you stones, you worse than senseless things!" (1.1.35). This indicates that the people are easily swayed by whoever is speaking to them. Again this is later when Antony turns the angry crowd into a mob against Brutus and Cassius.In the play, Caesar greatly desires an heir. He speaks to Antonio to touch Calpurnia during the race on the Feast of Lupercal to "Shake of their sterile curse" (1.2.9). Brutus overhears Caesar's comment and believes that Caesar wants an heir to create a dynasty. This becomes one more reason for Brutus to destroy Caesar.Misinterpretation happens throughout the play. For example, Cicero defines this when speaking with Cassius, "Indeed, it is a strange-disposed time; But men may construe things after their fashion, Clean from the purpose of the things themselves" (1.3.32-35). This means that man will interpret according to his nature instead of seeing the true meaning. Omens appear early. Caesar dismisses the soothsayer and the information from Calpurnia's dream. Everyone disregards the signs of the weather and nature. These signs are the civil unrest in the heavens, the owl hooting during the day and the lion walking through the marketplace.Shakespeare creates the mirror as a prominent image. Cassius asks Brutus, "Tell me, good Brutus, can you see your face?" (1.2.51). Cassius continues, "That you have no such mirrors as will turn Your hidden worthiness into your eye That you might see your shadow" (1.2.58-60) "So well as by reflection, I, your glass"(1.2.68). Basically, Cassius is telling Brutus that Brutus will speak of his true feelings and nature. This is where we see Cassius' own agenda. He is a false mirror for Brutus, a mirror that only reflects what he wants Brutus to see. There must be a distinction made between the two versions of Caesar, the man and the god. The two versions of the same man is missed by the conspirators. There is the weak Caesar whom Cassius must save from drowning and who has epileptic fits, but there is also the aura of Caesar, the man who can say, "… always I am Caesar." (1.2.213). The "god" Caesar is implied in the language used by Caesar. His every word is a command. He...

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