Caesar Essay

635 WordsMay 17, 20133 Pages
Question: How does Shakespeare use the form of a play to represent conflicting perspectives on Julius Caesar in a way that challenges and intrigues an audience? Shakespeare reworks the original material of Plutarch’s history to present conflicting perspectives of Julius Caesar and his assassination. Through his shaping of the events into a double tragedy – the tragedy of the great but blind Caesar and the tragedy of the honourable but politically inept Brutus – and through his use of a range of characters, each with their own view of Caesar, Shakespeare challenges his audience to think about power, greatness, honour and assassination from conflicting perspectives. Shakespeare through the first half of the play uses dramatic irony and the conventions of the tragic hero to suggest that Caesar is full of overweening pride as well as reckless indifference to his own safety. Caesar shows himself to be a great man so obsessed with his own greatness and so desirous always to appear brave that he brings about his own destruction. Thus, We not only learn about Caesar from his words and actions but even more from the speeches of others. To Cassius Caesar is Brutus, on the other hand, considers Caesar A conflicting perspective is offered by Mark Antony. To him Caesar is Significantly Mark Antony’s funeral speech, addressed to the audience in the theatre as much as to the Roman crowd, sways us towards a positive view of Caesar, despite the clear sincerity of Brutus and the ample evidence from Caesar’s own speech of blind monomania. Antony’s comparison of Caesar to a “deer strucken by princes” (in a speech over the dead body of Caesar) evokes the image of an innocent murdered by envious rich aristocrats. Rapidly we forget the vain boasts of Caesar and shift to seeing him as the noble hero wrongly murdered. By continuing the play

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