Julius Caesae +War vs Politics

Julius Caesae +War vs Politics

  • Submitted By: topdog77
  • Date Submitted: 09/17/2009 2:13 AM
  • Category: English
  • Words: 1170
  • Page: 5
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“Julius Caesar”, a play created by William Shakespeare revolves around the assassination of Caesar and the ensuing civil war. Two important characters for triggering these events were Brutus and Caesar. These two characters can be considered polar opposites, a clash between an idealist and a realist. Both have different characteristics and motives for their actions. These can be used to compare the suitability of either of them leading an assassination or a military war.

Brutus’ idealistic behavior initiated the downfall of himself preceding the murder of Caesar. The poet initially portrays his idealism when Cassius requests an oath of allegiance from his fellow conspirators. Brutus however adamantly refuses to because he feels it would, “stain ... the even virtue of our enterprise”, causing the men to possibly distrust each other. This act agrees with Brutus’ strong beliefs in honor and purity, which to him are more important than the practical approach (ensuring no one betrays each other). Cassius proposes that Antony also be killed, fearing he may exact revenge due to his close love of Caesar. This is rejected by Brutus who wants them to “be sacrifices, but not butchers”, thus allowing him to feel the ritual is still a ‘noble’ act. Another mistake by Brutus was allowing Mark Antony to speak at Caesar’s funeral, again going against Cassius’ decision. By allowing Antony to speak, Brutus feels that he is being patriotic to Roman culture by allowing Caesar to “have all true rites and lawful ceremonies”. Had Brutus not given into his idealism by sparing Antony, the civil war that would later lead to his death could have been prevented. Thus being idealistic does not allow him to make the pragmatic decisions needed in leading an effective assassination.

Certain qualities possessed by Brutus still benefits him in leading an assassination. Brutus has the ability to hide his emotions at a superficial level. This is itself connected to the patriotic character of...

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