Comparing Things Fall Apart With Julius Caesar

1833 words - 8 pages

In the novel, Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe, and the play, Julius Caesar, William Shakespeare, both have main characters who have hurbis. Okonkwo and Julius Caesar are main characters in both stories. An honorable man, Okonkwo tries to better than what his father was and gain great titles in his tribe. He then commits a female crime and gets exiled for seven years. When he returns, he realizes the missionaries have changed what his clan believes in. His clan no longer fights for what they believe in. Almost crowned dictator of Rome, Julius Caesar thought of himself as a great superior than all the rest. He was going to be crowned dictator of Rome until a group of men killed him. Caesar has faith in his own ideas. Okonkwo is masculine and has physical strength. Both men view their weaknesses as strengths; the differences between how they are seen and what they actually are results in their downfall.
Ignoring outside influences, Julius Caesar only believes in himself. Calphurnia has a bad dream about Caesar’s death; in the play it says, “Thrice hath Calphurnia in her sleep cried out ‘Help ho, they murder Caesar’” (Shakespeare 75). Calphurnia tried warning Caesar that her dream was a sign that he should not go to the crowning, but because he only believes in himself he ignores Calphurnia’s warnings. Calphurnia even mentioned how men were bathing in his blood, how lions roamed the streets, bodies rose from the dead, and it rained blood. A soothsayer also warned Caesar saying, “Beware the ides of March” (Shakespeare 15). Caesar was not cautious of the ides of March. He went on with his day as he normally would. Because of Caesar’s hubris, he thought that he was untouchable and no one could hurt him. Caesar says, “Yet Caesar shall go forth, for these predictions are to the world in general as to Caesar” (Shakespeare 77). Caesar’s excessive self-confidence in himself made him think that any danger others warned him about would not affect him; the strange occurrences the people warned him about could happen to anyone, and they do not have to particularly apply to him. Caesar sees believing only in himself as a strength, but in reality it is his weakness. He does not last to live much longer after believing that no man would dare to harm him.
Okonkwo abides by the rules of masculinity long after it suits his life. Okonkwo thought women we inferior to men. During the Week of Peace, Ojiugo lied to her husband; in the novel it states, “And when she returned he beat her very heavily” (Achebe 29). Okonkwo’s anger took over him. His vision of himself was so great that he thought he could beat his own wife, even during the Week of Peace. Okonkwo’s favorite child would be Ezinma, but she cannot be as great as he would want her to be because she is a female. Okonkwo openly said, “She should have been a boy” (Achebe 64). Okonkwo thinks that his daughter is great, but because she is not a boy he can not admire her. He thinks she would have been better a boy...

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