Essay, Research Paper: Julius Caesar Play

Shakespeare: Julius Caesar

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The play Julius Caesar is an eclectic mix of wise and ignorant, cunning and naïve,
heroes and cowards. The pageantry set forth in the play exemplifies the
formality of everyday Roman life and the gravity of the official duties. Each
main character in Julius Caesar has a positive quality that embraces the reader
and a negative quality that leads to their tragic downfall. Although the
characters possess more than two qualities, their strongest, most aggressive
points shine through. At the end of the play two characters are forced to
penetrate each other’s minds and evaluate the good and evil. One is a
domineering, egotistical, selfish conspirator. He lacks the power and appraisal
that his enemy, Julius Caesar has, and, therefore, uses his envy and jealousy as
a drive to convert others to challenge Caesar. His opposing force is a reserved,
mediocre man who’s only love his the country he stands upon. The powerhouse of
confidence versus the dollhouse of reservation ends in an explosion of
destruction. Marcus Brutus is the most admirable character in Julius Caesar. He
is the only person involved in the conspiracy against Caesar for his country. He
truly believes that Caesar’s ambition will ruin the fortitude of his beloved
Rome. Brutus uses his hidden inner strength to survive the brutality of the
conspiracy and the harsh reality of the aftermath. In the beginning of the play,
Brutus appears as a quiet lamb. He follows the herd, lives by example, and keeps
his thoughts and opinions disclosed from the public masses. Although he is
reserved, his undying desire for a better Rome shines through like light flowing
from a stained-glass window. When Cassius first confronts Brutus to become a
member of the conspiracy, his lacking confidence is evident. Brutus says,
“Into what dangers would you lead me, Cassius, / that you would have me seek
into myself/ for that which is not in me?” (1.2.45-47). However, his
self-assurance grows as the play continues and by the end he stands up for his
beliefs and backs them with power. Brutus is admirable for his love and devotion
to Rome. He was born Roman and died Roman. His affection for justice and honor
is one of the most evident characteristics about him. The opposite of Marcus
Brutus is Gaius Cassius. He is a strong-willed, cunning, jealous villain who
only wants Julius Caesar dead for his own, selfish reasons. He sees Caesar as an
ambitious man who is after more power and control. What Cassius forgets to do is
to evaluate his own image and realize his race for personal betterment.
Throughout the play, Cassius, like a cat, uses his mind controlling skills to
climb his way to the top, not caring whom he pounces on in the end. He converts
Brutus to his mere puppet. Cassius dreams of the thoughts and actions and has
Brutus carry the negative plans out. Cassius is the most villainous character
because he is actually a coward. He is too afraid to go for his goals himself,
to work hard and achieve the right to be a leader. Instead, he underhandedly
commits other Romans to kill an adored leader for his own selfish merit and his
proclaimed “justice.” Cassius is even afraid to overcome a challenge with
Brutus. Even during a devilish argument in act IV, Cassius gives in to Brutus’
desires (4.228-30). He is too afraid of losing his workman and too much of a
coward to become the leader. Brutus and Cassius are two opposite characters.
Brutus is a compassionate, reserved, humane individual. He knows his goals and
desires and goes after them quietly and respectively. He does everything for the
good of Rome, even when it comes to sacrificing his life. Cassius, however, is a
vile, envious coward, whose mind is like a tempest, longing to thrust danger
upon those more powerful than he. Although both die gruesome deaths, Brutus dies
an honorable, patriotic soul and Cassius dies a disgraceful, mischievous man.
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