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Imperception Leads to Chaos

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Introduction

Robert Lam Ms. Dwyer ENG 2D7 - 04 30 October 2008 Imperception Leads to Chaos "Civilization begins with order, grows with liberty, and dies with chaos" (Will Durant). Durant's insight reveals that the strongest and most orderly societies fall victim to chaos. Shakespeare's Julius Caesar explores the way imperception impacts Brutus' appropriate evaluation and ultimately the structure of Roman civilization. In fact, Brutus discovers that his tragic imperceptible actions lead to disaster in Rome. Shakespeare's tragedy describes the result of Brutus' short-sighted, dishonourable behaviour in his attempt to improve the conditions of Roman society. In Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, Brutus' imperception, by destroying the insight needed to carefully analyze people's motives, leads to the chaos that destroys order in Rome. Brutus' failure to deeply analyze Cassius' comments on Julius Caesar causes him to join the conspiracy. The chaos that results from his ill thought action endangers the fabric of Roman society by enabling chaos to destroy all structure and organization in Rome. ...read more.

Middle

Brutus tragic imperceptions to the new harsher reality leads to chaos. Cassius and his fellow conspirators manipulate Brutus: they infect Brutus' tragic imperceptions with their false reality; they sicken the citizens with their false motives; and, they infest Rome with disorder and chaos. Cassius convinces Brutus that he remains incapable of seeing himself when he offers to be Brutus' mirror and assures Brutus that "you will modestly discover to yourself / That of yourself which you yet not know of" (1.2.69-70). Cassius plays on Brutus' failure to recognize the jealousy and greed that infects the conspiracy. His false, convincing comments lead Brutus to believe that Caesar's tyrannical power degrades Roman society. In reality, the conspirators' biased opinions bury themselves so deeply in Brutus' mind that he fails to recognize the dangerous consequences that only degrade his character. Only at the end of the play does Brutus gain the insight "...to wish / Things done undone" (4.2.8-9). Brutus, aware that his death nears, recognizes that the extremity of his actions plague any possibility for redemption among the Roman people. ...read more.

Conclusion

Cassius injects his concern for Brutus' ignorance during their heated argument in act four, scene three. Brutus' imperception, like a fiery, raging fever, threatens his own survival and brings greater chaos to his relationship with Cassius. Moreover, Brutus' failure to make a genuine expression based on thoughtful consideration of the bigger picture only creates temporary satisfaction. At first, the crowd shows their approval of Brutus' speech when they bellow, "Caesar's better parts / Shall be crown'd in Brutus" (3.2.51). Yet, after Antony's speech, the mob desires "to fire the traitors' houses" (3.2.252). The fickle crowd's sudden change in mood and beliefs shows that Brutus stands alone in arguing for the cause to Caesar's death. Brutus' short-sighted acceptance of the conspirators reasoning ends up in tragedy and dishonour. Brutus' blind acceptance of the conspirators' reasoning creates the conditions for Antony's Machiavellian desires to lead Rome into chaos. Instead of creating a better Rome without the presence of Julius Caesar, Brutus destroys Roman values, beliefs, and sanity. His ill considered actions lead to the innocent deaths of senators and citizens alike. Shakespeare's Julius Caesar measures how imperception blinds Brutus and destroys structure and order. ...read more.

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