Envy Leads To Bloodshed In Shakespeare's The Tragedy Of Julius Caesar

1079 words - 5 pages

Human nature causes people to behave in extreme ways; for example, the envy of another’s power may result in bloodshed. The ancient Romans had three men, the triumvirate, rule the people. The triumvirate in William Shakespeare’s The Tragedy of Julius Caesar consisted of Julius Caesar, Pompey, and Marcus Crassus; however, after the deaths of Pompey and Crassus Julius Caesar became the sole ruler of Rome. Caesar belonged to the Populists Party and ruled for the commoners, which angered the other senators. Marcus Brutus, the leader of the conspirators, believed he needed to kill Caesar before he became emperor for the good of the people. He says, “And therefore think of him as a serpent’s egg ...view middle of the document...

To every Roman citizen he gives, To several man, seventy-five drachmas…Moreover, he hath left you all his walks, His private arbors, and new-planted orchards…left them you, And to your heirs forever: common pleasures” (III. iii. 241-43, 248-251). Caesar’s murder cannot be justified because he put the people first, while the senators want to benefit themselves.
Caesar also had many enemies, yet he never killed them. Since the very beginning of the tragedy, Caesar has suspicions about Cassius. He tells Antony, “Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look; He thinks too much: such men are dangerous” (I. ii. 194-195). He believes that if someone would threaten him it would be Cassius, but Caesar does not kill him. Another instance occurs when Casca tells Cassius and Brutus, “Marullus and Flavius, for pulling off Caesar’s images, are put to silence” (I. ii. 284-285). Although they oppose him, Caesar does not kill them but banishes them. After Crassus’ death Caesar and Pompey were left and due to personal issues the two did not get along. Caesar could have killed Pompey and became the single ruler, yet he does not. Cassius and the other conspirators do not want Caesar to be the sole emperor, so they kill him. Caesar is the opposite of the conspirators because he has the power to order the execution of his enemies, but he does not abuse his power. Even the loyal supporter of Caesar, Antony, falls to the temptations of power and wants to kill Lepidus. Antony tells Octavius, “This is a slight unmeritable man, Meet to be sent on errands; is it fit, The threefold world divided, he should stand One of the three to share it?” (IV. i. 12-14). There was no need to murder Caesar, especially after sparing the lives’ of Cassius, Marullus and Flavius.
The final reason why Cassius and the other senators believe Caesar needs to be eliminated was because he was too ambitious. Nevertheless, Antony argues, “You all did see that on the Lupercal I thrice presented him a kingly crown, Which he did thrice refuse. Was this ambition?” (III. ii. 96-98). Caesar does...

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