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Julius Caesar

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Introduction

How important is being "honourable" and "noble" in the play The play Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare conveys the importance of being "noble" and "honourable" in various ways throughout the play. Studying the characters of Brutus and Julius Caesar, one can notice their personal Roman morals reflect these very virtues. From a different perspective; Caius Cassius observes these principles and uses them to execute the most significant murder of the play. Furthermore, we will look at the importance of being "noble" at the face of death. I will look at these points individually below. A crucial point Shakespeare makes comprehensible is that of Brutus' high minded morals. This especially so, when concerning Rome. Brutus states in his first soliloquy that he would do anything for the "general good" of Rome. He declares this as his first attempt to convince himself that killing Caesar would be a "noble" and "honourable" thing to do. Brutus' second attempt is in Act Two, Scene One, where he begins on the subject of Mark Antony's life but diverts off assuring the conspirators the planned assassination makes them "sacrificers " and "purgers" but not "murderers". ...read more.

Middle

Shakespeare artfully positions Caesar's boasting of his best features, including that of "honourable", promptly before his death. To see this happen, it doesn't strike someone as being 'right' to indeed follow through. The importance of being "honourable" in the play, becomes overshadowed here with the urge to kill Caesar from a position of jealousy. Both Brutus and Caesar show qualities of being "noble" and "honourable". For Cassius, the only importance of such attributes is to conquer the man he envies - Julius Caesar. Shakespeare has created Cassius with the understanding of the importance of being "noble" and "honourable". In Act One, Scene Two, Cassius talks about "the tired Caesar" and his "coward lips" calling him "a sick girl". It becomes unmistakable that Cassius is indicating to Brutus that Caesar would not be a good leader - in fact a terrible one, for Rome. Cassius goes on to tell Brutus that he knows "that virtue [honour] to be in you" and you have the "best respect in Rome". Cassius has used his knowledge of Brutus' morals, namely the high minded ones, to move him to ultimately assassinate Caesar. ...read more.

Conclusion

For Mark Antony to say he is the "most noblest Roman of them all", as a person who has the right to despise him, HAS to prove that statement is true. The Great Julius Caesar paradoxically was murdered directly after evidence of his nobility and it would seem this is a poignant message from Shakespeare, also giving substance to Caesar's relationship with "noble" and "honourable" traits. Even for someone who finds such morals essential in Brutus, Cassius would have not been able to have Caesar assassinated. So for Cassius, they are also important. In the last Act, the audience once again witnesses the importance of being "noble" and "honourable" in a different light. Brutus' speech from Line 98 - 110 is verification of these virtues. From a man who has always been known as a stoic, to in front of his army before a fight, show some emotion, again re-enforces the idea that every Roman, be it fictional or not, seeks to live up to being "noble" and "honourable". Shakespeare has skilfully portrayed this in his characters as it would have been all those hundreds of years ago. Kallum Thompson AS Literature Kallum Thompson AS Literature ...read more.

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