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Explore the dramatic effectiveness of Act 1 of Julius Caesar.

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Introduction

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.

Middle

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.

Conclusion

"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.

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