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Refer to Act 1 Scene 2, Act 2 Scene 1 and Act 4 Scene 3. Explain how the audience's perception of Cassius and Brutus is likely to change during these scenes. Pay particular attention to the language that Shakespeare uses.

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Introduction

Refer to Act 1 Scene 2, Act 2 Scene 1 and Act 4 Scene 3. Explain how the audience's perception of Cassius and Brutus is likely to change during these scenes. Pay particular attention to the language that Shakespeare uses. 'Julius Caesar' is one of Shakespeare's most thought provoking plays. It depicts the story of Julius Caesar, one of history's most successful dictators, who was killed by a group of politicians of whom was his close friend Brutus, which led him to say his iconic last words: 'Et tu Brut�', which are the only words in the play which are written in Latin and have a special significance. From the beginning we can see that Caesar has ambitions to become Emperor and when he thinks the senate is going to offer it to him, he is more than willing to accept. It is this that leads Brutus to killing Caesar as we see how much Brutus wants to protect the republic. The irony of this is that once Caesar dies Octavius takes over and becomes Emperor Augustus and there is no one to oppose him, as all the conspirators have been killed. Although, when written it had been over fifteen hundred years since the death of Caesar, the play still had many themes that appealed to an Elizabethan audience. Caesar in many ways has parallels to Queen Elizabeth I: both were physically weak but had a lot of power and both of them were childless and had no one to take over their position. Other themes that are explored are of loyalty and friendship and Shakespeare shows how these can have conflicting interests. ...read more.

Middle

Brutus also becomes more demanding and feels that he is stronger than Cassius. Cassius asks Brutus "And let us swear our resolution." Brutus answers no: "No, not an oath. If not the face of men, /The sufferance of our souls, the time's abuse. If these motives weak, break off betimes. And every man hence to his idle bed" Brutus rejects Cassius's offer to make an oath; this is the first time he has ever said no to Cassius. He tells Cassius that a secret oath is dishonourable and unworthy of honourable Romans whose simple words should be enough. This shows Brutus is idealistic, he then gives Cassius a long speech; this is the point where Brutus shows Cassius he is in control. Brutus become the more dominant character and does not take other people's opinion into consideration compare to Act 1 Scene 2. Cassius asks 'But what of Cicero? Shall we sound him? I think he will stand very strong with us.' All of the other conspirators agree but Brutus does not take their opinions into consideration. 'O name him not, let us not break with him, / For he will never follow any thing that other men begun.' The fact that Brutus disregards their opinions shows that he is now in control and has power as everyone agrees with him. Cassius says 'then leave him out,' Cassius and the other conspirators immediately agree with Brutus. This suggests Brutus has natural charisma. He has just joined the conspiracy and acts as the leader, steadily rejecting all the proposals made by others and imposes his own ideas on the group. ...read more.

Conclusion

Cassius says 'Men at some times are masters of their fates' this means that a man has imes when he can describe hi own future. Cassius also says that there are faults in his underlings. The word 'underlings' make the phrase more effective as it means inferior, insulting Roman nobles. Shakespeare also uses onomatopoeia. 'The torrent roared', he shows Cassius describing the torrent roaring. His makes him appear strong as he could swim across the River Tiber. Shakespeare uses repetition to emphasise characters 'How he did shake/ Tis true this God did shake;' here Shakespeare uses the word 'shake' twice to emphasise Brutus's anger towards Cassius, this is used by Brutus to tell Cassius he is an insignificant man. In Act 4 Scene 3, Shakespeare uses more effective language, 'There is my dagger/And my naked breast; within a heart/ dearer than Pluto's mine, richer than gold.' The use of language is effective as Cassius is telling Brutus to kill him; this attracts the reader's attention as they start to believe than an important character may die. Throughout the play many changes in the characters of Brutus and Cassius are evident we discover that they have to pay the ultimate price for their actions. We see how the choice between principle and friendship is questioned and a darker side to human nature and how people can be prepared to do almost anything for power. Overall we learn that Cassius is a man who does not want anyone else to have power apart from himself. We see Caesar who desperately wanted power for the sake of having power and Brutus an innocent idealistic character turn into Caesar craving power. ?? ?? ?? ?? Satyam Malhotra Set 6 5.10.04 "Julius Caesar" by William Shakespeare ...read more.

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