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Julius Caesar Essays

Julius Caesar
Analysis of Caesar
Brutus V's Antony
The Role of Women
Caesar , Tragic Hero
Brutus Character Analysis

  Bookwolf's Free Essays on Julius Caesar




Out of all the main characters in Julius Caesar, I chose Antony to write about simply because he is so interesting. The first personality trait he shows is obedience, as revealed in Act 1 Scene 2. In lines 9-12, Caesar tells Antony, “Forget not, in your speed, Antonius/To touch Calpurnia; for our elders say/The barren, touched in this holy chase/Shake off their sterile curse.” In lines 13-14, Antony replies with, “I shall remember/When Caesar says 'do this,' it is perform'd”. It isn’t much of a dialogue, but in it reveals that Antony obeys Caesar without question. In other words, Caesar could tell Antony to jump, and Antony would ask, “How high?” Another character trait of Antony is cleverness. This is revealed in Act 3, Scene 2. In Antony’s famous monologue starting on line 82, he “turns” the crowd from supporting Brutus and the other murderers of Caesar to being against them. Not only that, but he does it without making appear as if he didn’t mean to. By merely presenting facts that make the conspirators look bad, and then repeatedly “supporting them”, he turns the crowd against them. Antony says in lines 97-103, “He [Caesar] hath brought many captives home to Rome/Whose ransoms did the general coffers fill/Did this in Caesar seem ambitious?/When that the poor have cried, Caesar hath wept/Ambition should be made of sterner stuff/Yet Brutus says he was ambitious/And Brutus is an honourable man”. Antony appears to support Brutus by calling him an honorable man while presenting facts that clearly go against what Brutus claimed about Caesar. Antony is also loyal. After Caesar is killed in Act 3, Scene 1, Antony mourns the death of Caesar, and he begs, “the voice and utterance of my tongue--A curse shall light upon the limbs of men/Domestic fury and fierce civil strife/Shall cumber all the parts of Italy/Blood and destruction shall be so in use”. He puts a curse on the men for killing his beloved Caesar. The last trait I will touch on is compassion. In Act 5, Scene 4, some of the soldiers from Antony’s army apprehend Lucilius. Instead of allowing them to treat him badly, Antony tells them to, “keep this man safe/Give him all kindness: I had rather have/Such men my friends than enemies. Go on/And see whether Brutus be alive or dead/And bring us word unto Octavius\' tent/How every thing is chanced.

Superstition and the supernatural play a major part in Julius Caesar. In Act 2, Scene 2, a storm takes place. In Elizabethan times, a storm such as that would be taken by the people to mean that something bad is going to happen. And indeed, later, Caesar is killed. Also, other strange events happen. Calpurnia tells Caesar, “Caesar, I never stood on ceremonies/Yet now they fright me. There is one within/Besides the things that we have heard and seen/Recounts most horrid sights seen by the watch/A lioness hath whelped in the streets/And graves have yawn\'d, and yielded up their dead/Fierce fiery warriors fought upon the clouds/In ranks and squadrons and right form of war/Which drizzled blood upon the Capitol/The noise of battle hurtled in the air/Horses did neigh, and dying men did groan/And ghosts did shriek and squeal about the streets/O Caesar! these things are beyond all use/And I do fear them”. Calpurnia obviously takes these events to mean that something bad is going to happen, and is worried for Caesar’s well-being. In Elizabethan times, the people were the same way. They were very superstitious, and would have taken those events the same way. It contributes to the plot in that is gives foreshadowing to the audience/reader that something bad is going to happen.

The theme of “violence begets violence” in very prominent in Julius Caesar. The way I interpret “violence begets violence” is that a violent action causes a violent action. This is shown in Act 3, Scene 2 when the mob of people listening to Antony realizes that the murderers of Caesar did something worse than they first thought. After realizing just what they had done, and done unjustly, the mob begins to riot. “Revenge! About! Seek! Burn! Fire! Kill! Slay! Let not a traitor live!”, the crowd cries. Also, “violence begets violence” is proven in that many of the conspirators who murdered Caesar end up dying also. Brutus is the main one that dies, and it is perhaps more meaningful in that Brutus was trusted by Caesar, and he betrayed that trust. I think that this is Shakespeare’s way of showing that “what goes around comes around”. Also, it gives the reader a sense of satisfaction is knowing that Caesar’s murderers received what they deserved.


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