Analysis Of Julius Caesar

Submitted By innovation21
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Critically assessing the central character Caesar, allows the audience to enhance their understanding of the character’s significance in the play to a larger extent. It exposes the motivations, functions and the range of perceptions that other characters adopt pertaining to Caesar. The main motive that Caesar displays is the pursuit of power and glory. His function in the play is to lead the Roman people and leave behind an important legacy. The ways in which other characters in the play view Caesar vary and this highlights how all characters have personal agendas hence their opposing views.
Power and glory are two things which Caesar aspires to achieve and maintain. Caesar’s level of confidence suggests his drive for power and glory which is depicted via the confident tone in “But I fear him not” (III.I) and “for always I am Caesar”(III.I). In fact, aspirations for power and glory leads him to neglect and dismiss his fears and threats. Furthermore, imagery of men who are fat in “let me have men about me that are fat” (III.I) juxtaposed to “sleek-headed men… Young Cassius has a mean and hungry look… such men are dangerous” indicates Caesar’s cautiousness and desire to preserve and protect his power and glory by surrounding himself with less intelligent individuals.
The main function Caesar exercises in the play involves the importance of his influence on the people and legacy and chaos that ensues after his death. Simile is used in “But I am constant as the northern star, of two true-fixed and resting quality” (III.I) to compare Caesar himself to the stars. This suggests that he is influential and significant even after this death. Negative connotations of “curse upon men” (III.I) and grotesque imagery of “infants quartered with the hands of war”(III.I) warns of the consequences to the people of Rome that is to come following Caesar’s death. Indirectly, this chaos that ensues after Caesar’s assassination is an important function in the play as it is reminiscent of Shakespeare’s contemporaries in the Elizabethan context. It reflects the audience’s level of anxiety and fear over their own Queen’s lack of heir during this period and the threat of chaos and disorder that would follow her death.
Certain characters view Caesar in a positive light, specifically Mark Antony the plebeians.
Shakespeare shows that the public believes Caesar is suited to be the leader of Rome and adore him through the word choice of “awe” and “majestic world” (I.II) in relation to Caesar. This suggests their perception of Caesar as being almost ‘god-like’ and someone they believed suited to be their leader. Imagery and imperative tone is used in “the good is oft interred with their bones. So let it be with Caesar” to reflects his view of Caesar as noble and good. Further, imagery combined with rhetorical question is used in “General coffers filled: whose ransoms seem ambitious?” (III.II) to show how Antony saw Caesar as a worthy of being crowned for his positive impact on the people. Caesar has brought prosperity to Rome. Note however, that Antony’s perception of Caesar is based heavily on his position as Caesar’s friend. Shakespeare makes this evident in the accumulation and alliteration “he was my friend, faithful and just to me” (III.II) emphasising that Mark Antony’s views are based on the benefits he has received as Caesar’s friend. This does not apply to other characters.
Indeed, conspirators such as Cassius have an opposing view