Julius Caesar, By William Shakespeare And The Life Of Caesar, By Plutarch

1065 words - 4 pages

No matter how hard one tries to avoid being manipulated, it is impossible to avoid all sources such as documents, leaders and friends. Manipulation, the ability to alter the position or influence a person, occurs everywhere one goes. Throughout Julius Caesar by Shakespeare and The Life of Caesar by Plutarch, the theme of manipulation was revealed through countless instances showing both its sources and effects. Several of the characters in both accounts, such as Brutus, Caesar, and the people of Rome, were manipulated one time or another, by sources such as their close friends who merely desired their ideas and plans to continue forward.
Cassius, an envious and ambitious man, did not approve of what Caesar was doing as ruler and believed that he had too much power over the senate and the people. To put an end to what he considered to be conspiracy, he fabricated a plan to eradicate Caesar. He attempted to persuade Brutus, one of Caesar’s good friends, to join their plot, but Brutus declined. Cassius, speaking of the decision Brutus made not to unite with them, told the other conspirators in the senate, “for who so firm that cannot be seduced?” He wanted to manipulate Brutus into joining their cause, therefore he and the other conspirators threw letters they wrote, pretending to be citizens, into Brutus’ window. (Shakespeare 12) When Brutus read these, he thought they were from citizens and was deceived into uniting with Cassius and the conspiring senators. Little did he know that the letters were not from the citizens, but were forgeries. He was only joining Cassius because he wanted to give the people what they wanted. This was a prime example of manipulation through both friends and documents. Brutus' friends used letters or documents to change his position and feelings on the idea. Another fabulous example occurs when Caesar is debating whether or not he is going to go to the senate. One of the conspirators named Decius, who was a close friend to Caesar, manipulated him into coming to the senate by changing some of Caesar ideas slightly. At first, Caesar did not want to go to the senate because his wife Calpurnia had a dream that his statue would run with blood, which was interpreted to mean he would be killed. Decius came and distorted the interpretation to make it seem positive and that nothing bad would happen to him. One of the aspects of the dream that Decius altered to focus on positive outcomes, was his "statue spouting blood in many pipes." He changed the idea so that the blood symbolized "reviving blood," that all would use for benefit. Caesar trusted Decius’ explanation of the dream and exclaimed “How foolish do your fears seem now, Calpurnia! I am ashamed I did yield to them. Give me my robe, for I will go.” (Shakespeare 31) Decius made his interpretation appear much more desirable than Calpurnia's and tricked Caesar. Even though it was only a miniscule change in the eyes of Caesar, little did he know it would send him to his...

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