• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Explore the dramatic effectiveness of Act 1 of Julius Caesar.

Extracts from this document...


Explore the dramatic effectiveness of Act 1 of Julius Caesar Act one of Julius Caesar shows Shakespeare trying to set the pace and story line for the play. Introducing the main characters starts the play. Already by the end of Act 1 he has set up this feeling that something suspicious is going on and a plot is forming against Caesar. Act 1 Scene 1 sees the introduction of Murellus and Flavius, two tribunes critical of Caesar. They are wandering through the streets of Rome on a public holiday, Caesar having been successful in battle brought back riches and declared there would be a public holiday. This made Murellus and Flavius irate and they were very critical of the people of Rome on holiday. "O you hard hearts, you cruel men of Rome, knew you not Pompey?" The reason Murellus and Flavius are critical is because of how easy the people of Rome forgot Pompey. This shows that Murellus and Flavius were loyal to Pompey. Murellus and Flavius consider themselves noblemen and you can see this by how they speak, in blank verse, instead of blunt prose like the cobbler and the poorer population of Rome. Towards the end of Act 1 Scene 1 Murellus and Flavius are left alone as they disrobe the statues of Caesar in the street. The disrobing of the statues is a symbolic action, it shows the divided populace, Caesar was more attractive to the poorer population of Rome because be brought them riches back from his conquests. ...read more.


Cassius criticizes Caesar for not being able to cross the River Tiber "Caesar cried, 'Help me, Cassius, or I stink!' " Cassius is trying to let Caesar be known as an unfit ruler "How he did shake. 'Tis true, this god did shake, His coward lips did from their colour fly". Cassius is trying to manipulate Brutus to react against Caesar. He is doing so by touching on the male ego and reminding Brutus of his ancestors and how they saved Rome (line 112). He says Brutus as an honorable man should intervene and stop Caesar. Cassius tries to show Brutus that his qualities are equal to those of Caesar's "Brutus and Caesar: what should be in that 'Caesar'? Why should that name be sounded more than yours? Write them together, yours is as far a name; Sound them, it doth become the mouth as well; Weigh them, it is as heavy; conjure with 'em, 'Brutus' will start a spirit as soon as 'Caesar'." Most of all Cassius tries to convince Brutus by merely saying Brutus should be able to trust Cassius as they are friends. Caesar's followers in this scene hang on Caesar's every word, this shows a contrast with Brutus and Cassius who present a negative view of Caesar. Caesar is shown to be corrupted by power in this scene and throughout the play. ...read more.


"O, he sits high in all the people's hearts, And that which would appear offence in us His countenance, like richest alchemy, Will change to virtue and to worthiness." This is effective because it shows what Cassius wants from Brutus, his help in getting the people to listen to them and turn their respect to Brutus and Cassius and rebel against Caesar. Alchemy is the turning of base metals such as lead into gold. This is effective because it is saying it is doing something quite magical, and saying that it will change the peoples view and the people will listen to them and agree. "For it is after midnight" We all know what this means, they are talking in the early hours of the morning and it is not as effective as one may think reading over it first. However, it does imply that they are trying to avoid the public eye, and it gives us a feeling that something evil is going on and that they are actually plotting something. During the play we are introduced the two conspirators that started the plot against Caesar, mainly Cassius and Brutus. These two characters are both noble and want the best for Rome but they both come to the wrong solution for getting this. Without Brutus and the respect the people of Rome have for him and Cassius's manipulation of Brutus and his ideas about Caesar there would have been no plot. By Jonathan Middleton, 4B Explore the dramatic effectiveness of Act 1 of Julius Caesar Jonathan Middleton, 4B - 1 - ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Julius Caesar section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Julius Caesar essays

  1. Compare and Contrast - Cassius and Brutus from Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare

    This is what he does, and when Antony and the rest find him, Antony himself says that Brutus was the noblest Roman of them all.

  2. How do Brutus and Cassius change throughout the play of Julius Csar?

    is against the rise of any mere man to the position of 'Dictator'. Before Cassius manages to trigger a change in Brutus' mind, Brutus is shown as extremely caring of Rome, and this is pointed out on line 11 of Act 2, Scene 1, where he says, "I see no personal cause to spurn at him, but for the general".

  1. How suitably is the theme of the supernatural depicted in the play 'Julius Caesar'?

    "the Ides Of March are come. Ay, Caesar; but not gone", reappearance of the soothsayer. Caesar does not care about the warnings. In the whole this Act 2 Shakespeare uses description to forceful words to techniques of imagery that make the supernatural elements and superstitions so interesting and at the same time very effective.

  2. Explore the dramatic significance of Julius Caesar Act 3 Scene 2.

    While turned away, he listens to the crowd's reactions. "Methinks there is much reason in his sayings." "If you consider rightly of the matter, Caesar has had great wrong." From this Antony knows that the crowd are starting to feel sympathetic for Caesar and himself.

  1. Refer to Act 1 Scene 2, Act 2 Scene 1 and Act 4 Scene ...

    to murder Caesar, he is now in control and has taken the lead, which Cassius had in Act 1 scene 2.

  2. What do we learn about the characters of Cassius and Brutus and how they ...

    Cassius, with his intelligence previously displayed, understands that he needs Brutus to help him if he is to succeed in plotting the downfall of Caesar since he needs a respected citizen on the side of the conspirators to show the public their actions were honourable since Cassius himself is not.

  1. Refer to Act 1 Scene 2, Act 2 Scene 1 and Act 4 Scene ...

    Here Cassius is saying that if he swapped positions with Brutus, he would find it hard to believe Cassius and wouldn't listen to him. This is because Caesar has always preferred Brutus and considers him as a friend. Brutus is in a good position with Caesar and wouldn't want to kill him.

  2. What do we learn about the characters of Cassius and Brutus in these scenes, ...

    initial gambit and now he is driving Brutus into conversation by being very submissive and is making Brutus reveal disquieting thoughts and this is his first stage of manipulation complete. However his manipulation is not complete, he is now going to adopt his second stage of his techniques to manipulate Brutus.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work