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Julius Csar

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Introduction

Julius C�sar 'The Tragedy of Julius C�sar,' more commonly known as 'Julius C�sar,' is a tragedy by William Shakespeare written in 1599. It portrays the conspiracy against the Roman dictator, Julius C�sar, his assassination and its aftermath. It is the first of his Roman plays, based on true events from Roman history. In the play, Shakespeare places a strong emphasis on the themes of friendship and betrayal. In a scene where Cassius and the other conspirators discuss killing Mark Anthony and Julius C�sar, the main theme is that of treason. Cassius would not have dared to contemplate this if he did not have the power to do so. Although he argues that his actions are for the good of Rome, his motives are ultimately selfish. Other themes such as manipulation, murder, divine order, honour and war are also at the heart of the play. The Elizabethan Era (1558-1603) is the period in which Shakespeare's plays were written and introduced to the masses. Many consider it 'a golden age' in English history. At the time, people believed in divine order, which meant rulers were God given; their power was divine. ...read more.

Middle

By describing himself as a 'lover of Rome', he hopes to gain the trust of the plebeians and to make them finally accept that C�sar's death was for the good of Rome. He also uses his honour as a shield from the crowd's reactions. At the ending of his speech, a plebeian shouts out "let him be C�sar." Hearing this, Brutus believes that he has won the crowd over. However, he does not realise that allowing Mark Antony to give a speech was a mistake. The result of this is Brutus committing suicide at the end of the play. Mark Antony's entrance is more dramatic because he walks in with the body of C�sar. Mark Antony's first words are "Friends, Romans, and countrymen" Antony tries to appeal to the crowd's emotion. He understands that he needs to provide something stronger than Brutus to gain the interest of the plebeians. He realises that the people of Rome were completely incapable of using "reason." As a result, he employs his ability to manipulate and control their emotions and actions. By using Brutus' own explanations for Caesar's death to begin his speech, Antony proves his validity to the crowd. ...read more.

Conclusion

Martin Luther King's "I have a dream" speech, and the repeated emphasis in that speech on one phrase to deliver a more subtle message. Antony does the same with the phrases "For Brutus is an honourable man, so are they all, all honourable men" and "But Brutus says he was ambitious, And Brutus is an honourable man." The phrase is repeated four times, in variant forms, allowing Antony to not only counter each of Brutus' arguments, but also question Brutus' honour simply by drawing so much attention to it. This shows the reader his ability to manipulate and provide the interesting show the plebeians sought. This type of human behaviour is still relevant today, and was ultimately relevant in Elizabethan England; otherwise, one would wonder why Shakespeare included it. However, again, the different aspects of the play will vary in importance from one society and historical timeline to another as it relies on interpretation, i.e. what each individual interprets from the play. The plebeians ultimately interpreted the speeches and events in a different way because of human nature in groups (mob mentality, lack of reason), while the reader may view it differently in context to their society, for example in relation to divine power in Elizabethan England and ideas of morality and politics in today's world. ?? ?? ?? ?? Ishak Ibisevic English Julius C�sar ...read more.

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