Julius Caesar Conflicting Perspectives

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Conflicting perspectives are often imbued within a variety of different forms and styles of texts and are an inherent component in the construction of the conflict or climax. While it may seem that this may lead to even handed representation of events, personalities or situations, a closer consideration reveals that composers often assume a position of control over these conflicting viewpoints, ultimately aligning readers to empathize with and accept the composer’s own perspectives above any other. The play “Julius Caesar” by William Shakespeare, the 1916 short story “The War Prayer” written by Mark Twain and the 1940 movie “The Great Dictator” by Charlie Chaplin all include a significant portrayal of conflicting perspectives and further analysis reveals the underlying meanings conveyed. In “Julius Caesar”, Shakespeare examines conflict of viewpoints in the characterization of Caesar through a contrast between heroic and tyrannical imagery which is ultimately used to convey Shakespeare’s undertone of support for Caesar. Antony’s eulogy to the plebeians is used as a device to show Antony’s opinion of Caesar as a noble and worthy leader and contradict Brutus’s tyrannical classification. Brutus revolves his speech around Caesar’s ambitions and their damage to Rome. Contrastingly, Antony repetitively presents the rhetorical question, “Was this ambition” to the audience which refutes the core of Brutus’s argument and encourages the audience to question Brutus, helping Antony build up imagery of a faultless Caesar brutally murdered. Furthermore, Antony repetitively directs the audience towards the body of the murdered Caesar stating “what a rent the envious Casca made”. While this device may be devalued in the textual format of the play, when performed in the theatrical environment with effective props, it is highly confronting to the audience and further directs the
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