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Psychology In Julius Caesar Essay

1011 words - 4 pages

The Psychological Approach analyzes characters based on Freud’s conception of the human psyche-- id, ego, superego-- as well as relationships and conflicts within the story. In Julius Caesar, Shakespeare develops Marc Antony and Brutus using these two methods; Marc Antony convinces the town people to revolt by controlling his id and ego, while Brutus is developed as honorable through his relationship with Cassius, his reputation, his progression from being manipulated to standing up for himself, and the choices he makes in difficult positions, such as whether or not to kill Caesar
After Marc Antony’s speech, he convinces the town people to revolt against the conspirators by controlling ego and not letting his id overrun him. “The id is the primitive urge to seek pleasure without concern for boundaries” (Losh). The conspirators killed Caesar, who Antony loved very much. It is possible that his id compelled him to want revenge on the conspirators. The ego, which deals with the part of the mind interacting with the environment and people, would make Antony rationalize and realize that he couldn’t kill the conspirators, but he could get other people to, like the mob. Knowing this, Antony could have intentionally convinced the mob to revolt against the conspirators, but he couldn’t just come out and tell them to. He had to make them want to kill the conspirators, and think that it was their idea by addressing their ids. If Antony got the mob on his side about Caesar, they would feel betrayed by the conspirators and their ids would make them want immediate revenge. By convincing the townspeople that Caesar was a great man and leader, and that he didn’t deserve being killed for the reasons that the conspirators gave, Antony got the mob’s attention. He went on to read Caesar’s will, which promised all of the people land and money. The will made them support Caesar and want to kill the conspirators even more.
Brutus and Cassius have a very complicated relationship. “[Cassius] loves Brutus, but he also manipulates Brutus. Nonetheless, Brutus's friendship is more important to him than anything else. Ultimately, it [becomes] even more important than victory and the republican cause… Cassius sacrificed the fate of Rome three times for his friendship with Brutus” (Heller). Cassius’s willingness to manipulate Brutus makes Brutus seem like a weak character, but when he takes charge of the conspiracy and convinces them not to kill Antony as well, “[his] will prevails again and again” (O’Dair). Their relationship is also like a rollercoaster, one minute they’re getting along perfectly well, and then the next they’re disagreeing. For example, before the final battle, Brutus and Cassius argue over battle tactics, and the debate turns into an immature argument involving name calling. They argue for a long time and neither of them wants to admit the superiority of the other. Eventually, Cassius agrees to go along with Brutus’s plan, and they begin to apologize to...

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