English Pre AP 10
11 February 2011
An Unintentional Tragedy
Exhibited innumerable times in Shakespeare's notorious melodrama, The Tragedy of Julius Caesar, the most sincere intentions of dignified people can consequently end in tragedy. It is evident that Brutus, a genuine individual, is the key component to this concept. Brutus hesitates to commit himself completely to Julius Caesar as well as the conspirators, exposing his inability make decisions based on what he wants, and allowing other's to manipulate him. Brutus's virtuous, yet naive perspective on the scheme developed by the conspirators creates his own demise, and carefree ways of handling the conspirators leads to the destruction of the alliance as a whole, revealing Brutus's lack of leadership skills.
Cassius, a man of clever language and selfish intentions, is the main contributor to Brutus's indecision. At a point early on, Brutus's mood changes drastically from it usual demeanor. He admits to Cassius he is “with himself at war,” expressing the amount of struggle he is having within himself about Caesar being crowned the king of Rome (I.ii.46). Cassius takes advantage of his uncertainty, manipulating Brutus's emotions and thoughts with language like:
Brutus and Caesar: what should be in that “Caesar”?
Why should that name be sounded more than yours?
Write them together, yours is as fair a name;
Sound them, it doth become the mouth as well;
Weigh them, it is as heavy; conjure with 'em,
“Brutus” will start a spirit as soon as “Caesar.” (I.ii.142-147)
Brutus becomes completely indecisive at this point, and agrees to ponder the idea of conspiring against Caesar while promising to meet with Cassius to discuss “such high things” (I.ii.170). Although Brutus has not agreed to get involved with the conspirators immediately, Cassius manages to successfully influence the decision Brutus must make, and put ideas in Brutus's mind that would not have necessarily been...