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In William Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar", honour is displayed as a main theme throughout the play.

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Introduction

In William Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar", honour is displayed as a main theme throughout the play. Honour is having great respect for others, regardless of their status in society and performing great deeds not for personal gain but for the good of others. Marcus Brutus is an example of an honourable man but Caius Cassius is not. In the opening scene of the play there are two senators and the plebeians. The plebeians are having a celebration because Caesar has triumphed over Pompey. The senators are not happy with this. You can tell they are angry because Murellus says " You blocks, you stones, you worse than senseless things!" This implies that the plebeians don't care about what has happened to their previous ruler. You can tell they don't care about their previous ruler because they are celebrating Caesar. The cobbler says "... We make holiday to see Caesar and to rejoice in his triumph." I think Shakespeare is saying that honour is not considered in low down society and they don't care about honour but in high society like the senators honour is considered very highly. You can tell this because in Roman times the truly civilised citizen had to be more than educated or successful, in the Roman mind it was necessary to belong. The Roman needed a community, a family, or at least a group of friends around him. In Shakespeare's time men would value honour and reputation. ...read more.

Middle

So Antony could be thinking about replacing Caesar in a triumverate. The offering of the crown by Antony to Julius Caesar could be genuine because he knows that the public wants Caesar to rule and because he is Caesar's close friend he could benefit from it. He is not offering Octavious the crown because Antony can know become a ruler with Octavious and Lepidus. I think Shakespeare wanted us to see that Brutus is starting to come into power and he starts to become in control of the conspiracy and Cassius as going along with Brutus because he doesn't want to loose a friend. I think Shakespeare wants us to see Antony as being loyal to his friend but he does things for a personal gain like offering the crown to Caesar. Brutus describes Caesar's death as "ambition's debt is paid." Brutus thought Caesar was ambitious and now they have killed ambition. Lucillius bears a message from Cassius. The letter says that Cassius is getting displeased with Brutus. Cassius thinks Brutus has wronged him. "Most noble brother you have done me wrong." And Brutus says, " ...how should I wrong a brother?" Brutus and Cassius have an argument about the letter that Cassius wrote about Lucius Pella. Brutus didn't support Lucius Pella and Cassius did. " ...You have condemned and noted Lucius Pella for taking bribes here of the sardians, Wherein my letters, praying on his side, because I knew the man, was slighted off." The friendship between Cassius and Brutus changes when they get more power. ...read more.

Conclusion

Brutus seems scared about seeing Caesar again. "Speak to me what are thou?" The ghost says, "Thy evil spirit, Brutus." Not knowing what was happening and after the ghost goes he accuses the people around him of sleep talking because he cant believe it was Caesar. Caesar is saying he is his downfall and that they shall meet again at Philippi which is a type of prophesy thing because Caesar knows Brutus will die one way or another. "...Thou shalt see me at Philippi." Cassius essentially died for friendship and had friends who truly liked him enough to die for him. "Come, Cassius' sword, and find Titinius' heart." Cassius dies for his private honour. Brutus dies alone so he is dying for public honour. The significance of this is that if you are honourable to your friends then they will be honourable to you. So in Cassius case they killed themselves for him. But because Brutus went against his friends he dies alone. Shakespeare is saying that friendship should govern men's hearts and private honour. Antony and Caesar now rule Rome but I think that they will fall apart because Octavious says, "I do not cross you, but I will do so." So I think they will fall apart because they will disagree with something. I think Antony will be dishonourable to Octavious. I think honour is the main subject of this play. Honour drives the motives of the main characters. Private honour drives Cassius and Public honour drives Brutus but Private honour seems to be better than Public honour because Cassius dies with friend and Brutus dies with no friends. ...read more.

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