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The Portrayal Of Human Nature In 'Julius Caesar' Essay

  • Submitted by: anonymous
  • on March 29, 2012
  • Category: Shakespeare
  • Length: 1,193 words

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Below is an essay on "The Portrayal Of Human Nature In 'Julius Caesar'" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

Act 1 Scene 1 depicts the celebration of Caesar’s triumph by the Plebeians; the Tribunes Murellus and Flavius are annoyed, as the Plebeians have shown fickleness and disrespect. Murellus compares them to “hard hearts, cruel men of Rome”, a criticism towards the Plebeian’s capriciousness. Shakespeare’s intention of the phrase “cruel men of Rome”, serving to illustrate Murellus’ anger, may have been intended to portray the Tribunes’ loyalty, as they have been displeased by the commoners’ act. Murellus demands that they saw “great Pompey pass the streets of Rome” and that they “now strew flowers in his way that comes in triumph over Pompey’s blood?”. The majority of the people cheer for Caesar and his victory over Pompey; not long ago the ruler of Rome was Pompey himself. The Tribune’s use of rhetorical questions, which includes an extent of anaphora and the rule of three, serves as a way to depict the fact that Murellus is at a higher social status – only someone who is more powerful would have the authority to be valid of demand. This particular scene perhaps suggests that there was class difference during the era of Rome’s prosperity, and that this had a significant role on who was predominantly in power. Shakespeare’s portrayal of human nature in the beginning of the play, that all men are fickle, indeed, shows that powerful men have dominant control over the crowd that solely depends on their social status.

However, the point made in Act 1 Scene 1 is contradicted by Brutus, in Act 4 Scene 3. He claims that he is “armed so strong in honesty”, describing himself as a righteous person. This is ironic as Brutus had been dishonest with himself, dishonest to Caesar. This was when Brutus murdered Caesar when he was given a choice, after Brutus had been Caesar’s good friend. Antony criticizes Brutus’ gruesome actions which Brutus himself does not admit, saying that this was for the good of Rome. “For Brutus, as you know, was Caesar’s angel…how dearly Caesar loved him”...

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