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Dangerous Cassius and Arrogant Caesar Essay

  • Submitted by: 10907965
  • on April 9, 2008
  • Category: English
  • Length: 674 words

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Below is an essay on "Dangerous Cassius and Arrogant Caesar" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

In The Tragedy of Julius Caesar, Shakespeare reveals Caesar’s arrogance and warns the reader of Cassius’ sly personality and jealousy of Caesar’s power, which allows him to lead a group of conspirators in the murdering of Julius Caesar. The play has a very organized structure in which the first act introduces the main characters and foreshadows the assassination. In Act I, scene ii, lines 202 to 220, Caesar explains that he sees a "lean and hungry look" (204) in Cassius that clearly indicates the man has great ambition, which could be dangerous, foreshadowing Cassius’ conspiracy to kill him in order to seize more power for himself.

In the middle of his comment on how dangerous Cassius is, Caesar uses parallel structure to point out the traits that make Cassius a dangerous man. Caesar states that “[Cassius] reads much, / He is a great observer, and he looks / Quite through the deeds of men” (211-3). While the audience may interpret these traits as compliments, Caesar finds fault in the smart, ambitious Cassius because he seems too clever. Caesar continues his list with the fact that “[Cassius] loves no plays/ [like] Antony; he hears no music; / [and] Seldom he smiles” (214-5). He fears Cassius because he does not enjoy life, whereas he trusts Antony who is well known for his ability to have a good time. Caesar also uses direct address to compare Cassius and Antony when he comments, “He loves no plays, / As thou dost, Antony”(213-4). Caesar's description of Cassius is clearly disapproving, and immediately shows the reader that he will be a source of conflict.

Caesar contrasts the traits of the men he prefers to have around him with those of Cassius, and uses repetition of the word, “dangerous,” to show that he is aware of the inevitable danger. In the beginning of the passage, Caesar requests to have men around him who are “fat, / sleek-headed men, and such as sleep a-nights” (202-3). Then, he contrasts such men with Cassius who has a “lean and hungry look”...

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