Julius Caesar Conflicting Perspectives Essay

1491 WordsApr 15, 20126 Pages
To what extent has textual form shaped your understanding of conflicting perspectives? In any text, conflicting perspectives of events, characters and situations create interest and textual complexities. Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar is an example of a text that is built heavily upon conflicting perspectives, using Caesar’s historic assassination as a catalyst for the exploration of the qualities of leadership and strength. Through a number of monologues and speeches, Shakespeare constructs varied perceptions of a number of important characters and events which highlight the complexities of human nature. Through these conflicting perspectives, the textual form of Julius Caesar creates greater interaction with the audience. The conversation between Cassius and Brutus in Act 1 Scene ii is important for the construction of the two characters of both individuals and Caesar himself. The structure of the conversation is in itself revealing of the characters of Brutus and Cassius; Cassius constructs a long argument, using evidence which he can only claim to have happened, to convince Brutus of Caesar’s unworthiness. It is possible that the events Cassius describes are lies and this would serve to reinforce his characterisation as manipulative, though it is equally possible that they are truths – this in itself highlights the complexities of human nature. Brutus says very little and listens through the entirety of Cassius’ monologue with no comment on it at all, and this provides the audience with the perspective that Brutus is judicious. The qualities of leadership are explored heavily throughout this scene with Cassius highlighting Caesar’s weakness and unworthiness through multiple anecdotes; “And when the fit was on him I did markHow he did shake. ‘Tis true, this god did shake,His coward lips from their colour fly” (1.ii.120) The ironic use of “god” highlights
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