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Consider the Two night scenes (1.3, 2.1) in terms of their dramatic effectiveness: their thematic significance; and their relationship to the play as a whole.

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Introduction

ENGLISH COURSEWORK Sheean McKeever Consider the Two night scenes (1.3, 2.1) in terms of their dramatic effectiveness: their thematic significance; and their relationship to the play as a whole. In the introductory scenes of Julius Caesar, Rome remains a democratic country. However, as the play progresses, rumour has it that Caesar is scheming to take a King's crown and rule the empire. Through manipulation and skill, his popularity increases. He falsely impresses upon the masses that he is modest and has no such desires for power and domination of the people of Rome. Cassius is immensely passionate to conserve Rome's democracy and he fears Caesar will rule over their freedom of speech. The Romans had expelled their monarchy centuries earlier. They enjoyed a democratic, republican system of politics. Due to his fear, he writes to Brutus, a leading figure, for support in a conspiracy against Caesar. Cassius is fully aware that Brutus would give a moral standing, as, unlike himself, he is known for his rationality and calmness in such circumstances. Brutus is regarded as a loyal, devoted and well-respected man who can help to save Rome from its threatened tyranny. Through bravery and courage he surmounts Caesar before he can lay claim to the crown. Act 1, scene two creates a dramatic atmosphere. It erupts with a violent storm, deafening thunder and the most electrifying lightning. There appears to be a momentous tension rising in the ensuing darkness. ...read more.

Middle

This suggests their meek endurance of slavery was lacking and feeble. Cassius takes the noble Roman view; instead of submitting to tyranny, he would rather commit suicide: "I know where I will wear this dagger then: Cassius from bondage will deliver Cassius." He is portrayed as a truly dauntless, intrepid man. Cassius states life never lacks the means to dismiss itself, and he is able to shake tyranny off at pleasure. He vividly expresses his thoughts of Caesar. He believes he is "vile" and indeed, "worthless." He is aware Brutus is a leading figure, and he requires support for the conspiracy. Brutus would give them a moral standing. He is modest and speaks the truth. Cassius orders Cinna to send a number of letters to Brutus praising him and hinting at Caesar's ambition. Anger and jealousy motivate Cassius. He forges notes to Brutus, in a clever, astute manner. However, his dishonesty and craftiness is suggested as cunning and, deceitful. Brutus is obviously well respected: "His countenance, like richest alchemy, will change to virtue and worthiness" and so he is wanted for the conspiracy and to overcome tyranny. Through Shakespeare's language we can derive the beginning of Act 2 is at night. As all Elizabethan performances were in daylight, Shakespeare had to use dialogue and candles to create a night scene. On this occasion Lucius is asleep. Brutus refers to stars and tapers: "Get me a taper in my study, Lucius:/ When it is lighted, come and call me here." ...read more.

Conclusion

Can I bear that with patience/ and not my husband's secrets?" (2.1. 299-301) This implies Portia, similar to Brutus, is of a noble character. There are many aspects of these two scenes which relates to later scenes in the play. However, 5.3 onwards, is in my opinion of most importance. Cassius orders Pindarius to kill him: "Here, take thou the hilts, and when my face is covered, as tis now, guide thou the sword- Caesar, thou art revenged, even with the sword that killed thee." Earlier, Cassius stated he would rather choose death than defeat: "I know where I will wear this dagger then; Cassius from bondage will deliver Cassius." This reflected his noble and patriotic nature. In Act 5 scene 5, Brutus is haunted by Caesar's ghost: "The ghost of Caesar hath appeared to me... I know my hour has come." He knows it is time for him to die. He is troubled by his actions, of stabbing Caesar in the Capitol. For Cassius did not encounter Caesar's ghost, only Brutus, therefore, he feels he is the guilty one. Brutus' friends refuse to kill him. This shows the great love they had for him. Proving he was a loyal and worthy man. Brutus feels he "shall have glory by losing this day" (5.5 6) implying he has done right by his country. The irony of the play is highlighted as Brutus was "the noblest Roman of them all." Antony only, unfortunately, realises this at the end , after his death. Even though the play is titled Julius Caesar, Brutus appears the victorious one. ...read more.

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