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

Judging by the evidence in the play, how far would you agree with the conspirators that Julius Caesar would have become a tyrant?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

26th April 2002 English Coursework: Julius Caesar Question: Judging by the evidence in the play, how far would you agree with the conspirators that Julius Caesar would have become a tyrant? The Oxford English Dictionary lists the word 'tyrant' as: 1. An oppressive or cruel ruler. 2. A person exercising power arbitrarily or cruelly. The conspirators, who were Metellus Cimber, Ligerius, Trebonius, Cinna, Decius Brutus, Cassius, Casca and Brutus, had many different reasons for wanting to remove Julius Caesar from power. Brutus, however, was probably the only one who did it, not for personal gain but, because he believed that Caesar posed a serious threat to Rome. Brutus, therefore, can give us the fairest portrayal of how Caesar was really behaving apart from what we see of Caesar himself. We know that in the time before the play is set, Julius Caesar had been part of the leadership of Rome (voted in by the Senate) along with Crassus and Pompey, in what was known as a triumvirate. Caesar, after Crassus was killed in battle, is alleged to have had Pompey assassinated, although Pompey was actually killed by one of his own soldiers. ...read more.

Middle

Almost in contradiction to this arrogance and vanity Caesar appears to display slight paranoia and also has a superstitious nature. Although Caesar says " I fear him not" he is quite plainly wary and paranoid about Cassius. He tells Antony that Cassius "is a great observer", who "loves no plays" and when he occasionally smiles, "smiles in such a sort as if he mocked himself and scorned his spirit". Caesar is anxious for Calphurnia to stand in the way of Antony during a run because he believes in an old wives tale that a barren woman, touched by the straps the runners are wearing, will become fertile. In Act 1 Scene 2 Cassius tells Brutus of Caesars weakness and of how he had to rescue Caesar from the Tiber because he got into difficulties when they were out swimming. Cassius seems outraged that he now has to bow down to a man that he had rescued from drowning. ".......................and this man Is now become a god, and Cassius is A wretched creature, and must bend his body, If Caesar carelessly but nod on him." Cassius then tells Brutus about Caesar having a fit whilst in Spain and at the end of his account of Caesars feeble groaning and crying he again ...read more.

Conclusion

Two other incidents seem to contradict the conspirators view of Caesar as a tyrant. Firstly, in Act 2 Scene 2 Caesar addresses the conspirators warmly as " good friends" and invites them to "taste some wine" with him. Later in Act 3 Scene 1 because of his wish to put others before himself he unknowingly turns down the opportunity to save himself. When Artemidoros approaches Caesar with a letter warning him of the conspiracy and explains that it directly concerns Caesar and he should therefore open it first he replies "What touches us ourself shall be least served" Although I do agree with the conspirators that Julius Caesar had some bad qualities, some of which may be linked with tyrannical behaviour, I do not think that there is enough evidence against him to be sure beyond reasonable doubt that he would have turned out to be a tyrant. He was very arrogant, vain and ambitious but these traits are not unusual in men in positions of power. Also, a tyrant is, as the dictionary says 'an oppressive or cruel ruler', and someone who cares enough to leave money and grounds to his people does not seem cruel or oppressive to me. Max Carter 10C - English - Mr Potter Julius C�sar - GCSE Coursework Pg- 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. How do Brutus and Cassius change throughout the play of Julius Csar?

    Finally, Cassius begins to break, saying that Brutus has broken his heart and that a friend should "bear his friend's infirmities (weaknesses)", but Brutus makes them greater than they are and emphasises them. This shows that despite all they have said, Cassius still regards Brutus as a friend, but the same cannot be said for Brutus.

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

    This could be represented on the stage. For the Elizabethans, the king was a symbol of the state. Therefore, when the king is murdered, that means the social order is violently disturbed.

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

    This was very different at the beginning of the play, especially in act 1.2 where Cassius was persuading Brutus and Brutus listens passively, under control of Cassius's intelligent words. Even after they have made up, Brutus continues his authority, one such example being when he says "Good reasons must of

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

    Cassius is accused by Brutus and also comes under scrutiny by him in Act 4 Scene 3, for once we see Cassius being attacked and criticised when usually he is the man criticising others (such as Caesar). He tries to defend himself and gain Brutus' sympathy again.

  1. Show how Shakespeare demonstrates the use of persuasion with close reference to the play ...

    Shakespeare uses the themes of supersitition and the supernatural to affect characters actions and thoughts. Cassius and the other conspirators know they should 'win the noble Brutus to our party' (1.111.141) So that night, Cassius and the other conspirators plan to throw forged letters into the house of Brutus.

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

    Cassius continues and is being very sycophantic towards Brutus by saying he is very noble but hen suddenly "Except immortal Caesar" This would have destroyed Brutus's sense of pride and would have enraged Brutus; he has relatively degraded him and belittled him in front of Caesar and is now weighing him down.

  1. The Events in Brutus’s tent (act 4 scenes 2 and 3)

    Act 2 scene1 of the Shakespeare play "Julius Caesar" is very dramatic and engaging especially the opening setting of the scene, the conspirators, the strange happenings during the scene and Portia's suspicions about Brutus. The scene begins at night in a storm, this is striking because night time is associated with scary things (things that go bump in the night).

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

    On the whole the most important apprehension made on Caesar's part is when he wisely notices that Cassius is very discontented with his position, when he says, "Such men as he be never at heart's ease whiles they behold a greater than themselves."

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