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  • Level: GCSE
  • Subject: English
  • Essay length: 1152 words

With Close reference to Act 1-3 of Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, illustrate the theme of loyalty/ betrayal.

Extracts from this essay...

Introduction

With Close reference to Act 1-3 of Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, illustrate the theme of loyalty/ betrayal. The theme of loyalty and betrayal is a recurring one in the Shakespearean play 'Julius Caesar'. 'Julius Caesar' paints a vivid picture of loyalty and betrayal all the time throughout the play as it explores the dark sides of the world of politics. I will explore and show in the coming paragraphs how the theme of loyalty and betrayal is indeed an recurring theme in this play. Firstly, in Act one Scene One, we learnt that Julius Caesar has returned to Rome after triumphing Pompey, his old alliance, and his sons in a war and the plebeians had carved out a holiday just to see him. Many examples of loyalty and betrayal can already be seen here. The most obvious will be Julius Caesar's betrayal and, eventually, triumph over his old alliance ad arch-rival Pompey. Both of them were good friends, and had worked together before but Julius Caesar had turned the tables on Pompey and won a war that is over 'Pompey's Blood'.

Middle

He showed his loyalty to Rome and to the democratic cause when he said 'I do fear people may choose Caesar for King.' But however showed his loyalty to Caesar when he only said that he would consider about what Cassius said when Cassius was trying to 'whet' him against Caesar. Therefore, the theme of loyalty was more specifically observed in Act One Scene One. Also, one betrayal was observed in Act One Scene two. Brutus trusted Cassius enough to tell hi everything that was troubling with hope that he might be able to help him. Instead, Cassius betrayed that trust, and exploited Brutus' troubles to his own selfish cause, which was to murder Caesar. This betrayal was not evident, but it made the situation worse for Brutus because while initially he thought that it was only a possible problem, Cassius had cleverly twisted it into something that has to be acted on with urgency. Thirdly, in Act TWO Scene One, Brutus betrayed Caesar mentally as he decided to join the conspiracy and kill Caesar.

Conclusion

In this scene, Antony also appears to betray Caesar when he said 'friends I am, and love you all [the conspirators]'. But that was a cover for his future plans to destroy the conspirators, showing that his loyalty still lies with Caesar. In Act 3 scene 2, the switching betrayals and loyalties of the plebeians were explored for when Brutus spoke, they rallied behind him, supported him and betrayed Caesar. But after Antony spoke, they betrayed Brutus and rallied, supported Antony and Caesar once more. Antony also betrays Brutus' trust in him to stir the crowd against the conspirators. Finally in Act 3 scene 3, the betrayal of the plebeians against democracy, peace, stability and joy is marked. The innocent killing of Cinna the poet just because he had the same name as Cinna the conspirator, and the reasons being 'tear him for his bad verses' showed the plebeians betrayal of logic and kindness. Therefore as shown above the theme of loyalty and betrayal is indeed a recurring theme in the play. It encompasses the mental and physically aspect of loyalty and betrayal, and it is displayed in many characters at different times through out the play.

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