Julius Caesar: Beware The Ides Of March

1092 words - 4 pages

The Senate of the Roman Republic are the ruling power over most of the known world. Yet this powerful and influential senate is easily threatened by one man; Julius Caesar. To the senators Caesar is the catalyst for the downfall of a Republic they had worked so hard to create and protect. The playwright William Shakespeare dives into this world of betrayal and ambition with his play The Tragedy of Julius Caesar. Using his voice as a writer he takes the audience into Rome and lets them experience each riveting moment of Caesar’s fall. The play shows that Caesar is not the cause of Rome’s eventual downfall, but the senators who conspire against him and ultimately kill him are the ones reprehensible. Shakespeare introduces the characters of Brutus and Cassius: two men, both of high standing, that spearhead the conspiracy against Caesar’s life. The actions of their scheme are met with chaotic consequences, consequences so dangerous that both Brutus and Cassius flee to Asia Minor. After the Battle of Phillippi, once Octavius and Marc Antony seem to have one, the two men take their lives. This final action sends them back to a world with Caesar, a world they tried so hard to escape. At the end of both Caesar and Brutus’ lives become enlightened to a truth they had so eagerly avoided. For Caesar that truth is his over confidence in his ideals and his ignorance to the warning signs so often shown to him. Caesar’s downfall and untimely understanding makes him a tragic hero.
Even though Caesar is a brilliant leader, he is also a very prideful Roman man. He makes one of his biggest mistakes by not listening to the vociferous and wise Soothsayer. “Beware the ides of March,” says the Soothsayer (800). This is one of the first warnings Caesar receives, but all he does is call the Soothsayer mad and move on. If Caesar had listened to this warning the entire history of Rome and the world would be changed. The soothsayer was not the only one who tried to warn Caesar of his impending doom; other concerned Romans expressed their concerns, even his wife Calpurnia. “Do not go forth today. Call it my fear that keeps you in the house and not your own,” says Calpurnia (926). She has a dream in which Caesar’s blood pours from a fountain, to her this is a bad omen and she was right. Caesar’s pride gets in the way of his logic though, when Decius comes to fetch him for the Senate he convinces Caesar it is a sign that he will be offered the crown of Rome. With this ego boost Caesar heads toward his death with a jig in his step and a smile on his face. There is still one more chance for him to turn away though, one last chance for him to save himself. Artemidorus, a teacher, composes a letter for Caesar that explains his fear of a conspiracy against Caesar. When he approaches Caesar he is pushed away and scolded for thinking Caesar would even pay attention to him. “Caesar, beware of Brutus, take heed of Cassius,” says...

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