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Julius Caesar - Based on His Thoughts and Actions, How Would You Describe Caesar?

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Based on his thoughts and actions, how would you describe Caesar?

In Act II Julius Caesar is barraged with warnings to stay home and not go to the Senate, but he ignores them. Calpurnia, his spouse, tells of a dream she had and fears for Caesar's safety. The priests also warn Caesar. However, Decius is able to persuade Caesar to go to the Senate that morning. Considering his actions and thoughts in Act II, Caesar is a ruler who rejects superstitions and is concerned about how he is perceived by others.

As scene 2 opens, there is a thunder storm that sets an eerie tone. Calpurnia reveals her dream to Caesar and expresses concern for his safety. She then warns Caesar to stay home. Julius replies that the work of the mighty gods can not be avoided. He also contends that death is inescapable and therefore he will go to the Senate. His servant thereupon returns with the news that the priests likewise warn Caesar not to go out that morning. Caesar also discards the advice of the priests and asserts his bravery and superiority over others. Eventually, Calpurnia persuades him to stay at home. This shows Caesar as a man who is willing to set aside his priorities to please his wife.

Once Decius enters Julius is content to stay home. However, Decius manipulates Calpurnia's dream into a positive one and starts to question Caesar's manhood and power because he is afraid of the hallucinations of his wife. Caesar is now afraid and concerned of what the senators will think of him and fears that will see him as weak. This convinces Caesar to dismiss the warnings of his wife and the priests and go to the Senate.

From his statements Caesar first concedes to his wife but once his considers the thoughts of others about him he decides to 'save face' and attend the senate.

Compare and contrast the motives that Brutus and Cassius have for wanting to kill Caesar.

Brutus and Cassius, both conspirators against Caesar both have dramatically different views on the reasons why Caesar should be assassinated. Brutus is a main of morals, reason and honor while Cassius is deceitful and manipulative. Brutus seeks to glorify Rome and avoid tyranny by assassinating Caesar. Cassius wants to destroy his enemy and severely dislikes being under the control of a tyrant. As leaders in the Senate, Brutus and Cassius confederate to assassinate Julius Caesar.

Brutus has high standing in the senate and is revered by other members as a great leader with outstanding ethics. He is always willing to place Rome above himself and says he would give his life to save Rome from tyranny. Cassius, on the other hand, is more concerned about himself being ruled by a tyrant than Rome. He is not a very honorable man but is very intelligent and contriving.

Cassius exhibits himself as a follower of Machiavellian principles by declaring that Antony should be killed along with Caesar and suggesting that the conspirators take an oath. Brutus objects by saying that Antony does not pose a threat and excess bloodshed is unnecessary, this supports Brutus' assertion that Caesar is the only threat to Rome. Cassius wishes to expand the coup and eliminate all of his enemies under the claim that it is for the best of Rome and objects to this.

Brutus and Cassius are alike in the fact that they are both in the Roman senate. They both also detest tyrants and in some part wish the best for Rome. However, Brutus feels that his actions are necessary to sustain free rule in Rome while Cassius sees freedom for Rome as an extra in the assassination. Brutus is a respectable and honorable man who would give his life for Rome, while Cassius is deceitful and wishes to push his agenda.

What do the conspirators think they have achieved by killing Caeser? Do you agree? Why or why not?

The conspirators think that by killing Caesar they have ended tyranny, freed Rome and punished Caesar for his aspiration to be king. I strongly disagree with their thoughts. They assassinated a great leader of Rome who could have led them to renowned victories and fame. Even though Caesar may have desired to be king he still would have respected and honored his subjects by treating them with benevolence. Once they killed him they subjected to Rome to possible anarchy and unrest, and possible conquest by enemies. They also exhibited to the people that they are underhanded and could conspire against the people of Rome.

It should never be the position of elected people to resort to assassination to further justice. The senators should have confronted Caesar and exposed him to the people instead of resorting to death. By killing the leader of the Roman empire they let Rome open to attack by enemies of the state. The conspirators risked not only their lives but the lives of the people and the survival of the state.

I also disagree with the way in which the assassination was carried out. If they were in deed seeking to glorify the state and eliminate tyranny that could have killed Caesar at his home, but instead they delayed until he was in the senate building. Furthermore, if they wanted to avoid revenge, and keep the state "free" that should also have eliminated Caesar's friends and associates. Instead, they chose to let Antony live.

I think that their conspiracy was doomed from the beginning. It was the wrong thing to do and left Rome vulnerable to attack. Also, they left themselves susceptible to revenge from Marc Antony. Instead of resorting to assassination, they should have let the people decide if they wanted a rebellion.

In Antony's funeral oration, he abides by his agreement with Brutus not to place blame on the conspirators. However, he manages to turn the mob against the conspirators. How does he do this? Use examples from the speech to support your answers.

Antony uses many rhetorical tricks to persuade the people to go against the conspirators and support him and Caeser's goals. Marc Antony is a respectable man and is himself honorable, but most importantly he has mastered the art of rhetoric. Antony states in his speech that "[Brutus] Hath told you Caesar was ambitious", and then Antony retorts with "I thrice presented him [Caesar] a kingly crown which he did thrice refuse." By doing that, Antony carefully rebuts Brutus' statement that Caesar was ambitious and starts turning the crowd against the conspirators.

Throughout his speech Antony continues with his pledge to the conspirators by calling them "honorable men", but the crowd

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